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What to do with Radio Silence?

What to do with Radio Silence?
Option Distribution Votes
7%
24%
12%
20%
11%
27%
Total votes: 104
Vote VOTE! Vote ABSTAIN
26 Jan 2021, 23:43 PM
#1
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

Please read before voting and vote closest to what you agree with

Currently this ability does the following:
  • Hides all your units on the opponent's minimap and tacmap while active.
  • x1.2 speed bonus on infantry squads while active.

With the following duration, cost and cooldown:
  • 60 second duration
  • 40 munition cost
  • 90 second cooldown

As this ability has risen allot in popularity recently and caused several complaints, we as balance team are divided on the best way to deal with it. Some say the recent addition of the speed bonus is the main issue, others say affecting the opponent's interface stands counter to the game's design, still others say the ability should stay as it is but with increased cost and shorter duration.

I will keep a neutral stance in this thread, but if you want to read arguments from me and others, I would like to forward you to the following threads:

https://www.coh2.org/topic/107150/okw-spec-ops-doctrine-especially-radio-silence
https://www.coh2.org/topic/107440/radio-silence-change

Note that replacing the ability or completely changing how it functions is an option we would like to avoid as to keep the assets in the game and keep its design logical. Note also this is for the upcoming patch, a commander patch is planned where a broader rebalance of commanders would be in order. Note lastly that a cooldown increase will likely be done in any case.

For clarity about the icon change: they would become invisible again for opponent after being out of combat for a certain amount of time.
27 Jan 2021, 00:19 AM
#3
avatar of RIZAs

Posts: 21

just make the ability toggleable, like for 5 muni per sec but removes the cooldown or 3 muni per sec with cooldown
27 Jan 2021, 00:51 AM
#4
avatar of Antemurale
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 948

I'd change the ability entirely, removing the no-UI part.

Instead, it will do the following:
- Grants +20% speed boost to infantry (same as current)
- Grants camouflage to all units (detection radius 20, decloaks in combat)

This way, you can still pull off wild flanks and catch your opponent by surprise, but the contention around the UI part is avoided. Of course, this will somewhat reduce the flavor of the ability, but I'd argue it is probably for the best.

As for a munitions toggle, that will actually make it overpowered. Spec Ops is not a very munitions-intensive commander anyway; once players hit the late game (especially in team games) it will be close to having perpetual uptime. There's a reason why things like Soviet Spy Network has limited uptime and cooldown.
27 Jan 2021, 01:00 AM
#5
avatar of WhySooSerious

Posts: 1248

What about just removing the speed bonus and keeping the no unit icons revealed on map?
27 Jan 2021, 01:03 AM
#6
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

I'd change the ability entirely, removing the no-UI part.

Instead, it will do the following:
- Grants +20% speed boost to infantry (same as current)
- Grants camouflage to all units (detection radius 20, decloaks in combat)

This way, you can still pull off wild flanks and catch your opponent by surprise, but the contention around the UI part is avoided. Of course, this will somewhat reduce the flavor of the ability, but I'd argue it is probably for the best.


That was my first idea as well, making it similar to UKF's smoke raid operation, but it doesn't really fit with the voicelines sadly.
27 Jan 2021, 01:07 AM
#7
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

What about just removing the speed bonus and keeping the no unit icons revealed on map?


We want to keep a secondary benefit, so it's not just useful against players with certain mechanical playstyles (that being: looks at minimap/tacmap more than to individual units), also with an eye on larger team games.
27 Jan 2021, 01:07 AM
#8
avatar of thedarkarmadillo

Posts: 5279

I'd make it a command Panther ability that only effects a set area, disabling the normal Aura for duration (hard to coordinate without communicating) . Then it's strong, but contained. It grants counter play, but still allows for the element of surprise and with it giving the speed boost the infantry can even sorta keep up with the armour.
27 Jan 2021, 01:18 AM
#9
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

I'd make it a command Panther ability that only effects a set area, disabling the normal Aura for duration (hard to coordinate without communicating) . Then it's strong, but contained. It grants counter play, but still allows for the element of surprise and with it giving the speed boost the infantry can even sorta keep up with the armour.


CP might be a bit late, but I've thought about tying it to say a beacon, so it could be cheaper (or free, depending on radius) but not have a global nature and also so opponent can counterplay it by destroying it, maybe I'll bring a few more ideas up to the team that get posted here.

For now it's mainly focused around the poll options though, also with regards to the soon (tm) patch release.
27 Jan 2021, 01:40 AM
#10
avatar of JPA32

Posts: 178

Admittedly I'm not the person that should be commenting on this ability, but I don't have a problem with the Tac Map denial by itself. It can be played around even if you're operating less effectively. It's the speed boost that really causes problems since not only does it cause you to lose information while it's active limiting the scope of your micro, but your opponent can also Usain Bolt around the map and absolutely blow you away on his terms while this is happening. It's not fun to play against.

I'd propose instead of making it an aggressive offensive ability that grants sprint, shorten the duration and have it give your units Ambush Camouflage instead. This is both less frustrating to play against since it requires you to initiate a fight to trigger the opponent's ambush, and it's thematic since the point of radio silence is to not give yourself away over comms which perfectly applies to ambush camouflage.
27 Jan 2021, 02:34 AM
#11
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

Keep up ideas if you can come up with something.

jump backJump back to quoted post27 Jan 2021, 01:40 AMJPA32

I'd propose instead of making it an aggressive offensive ability that grants sprint, shorten the duration and have it give your units Ambush Camouflage instead. This is both less frustrating to play against since it requires you to initiate a fight to trigger the opponent's ambush, and it's thematic since the point of radio silence is to not give yourself away over comms which perfectly applies to ambush camouflage.


So it would be closer to Smoke Raid Operation for UKF. People don't use it that much, cause they're spamming the global accuracy buff or because it works in quite a complicated manner, but it's not a bad ability.

For those that don't know how it works, it works like this:
- Smoke barrage dropped on target.
- (De)capture bonus for squads.
- All infantry squads can cloak in cover.
- 'fake' smoke continually dropped on all infantry squads with yellow cover to allow moving / waiting while periodically camoed.
- Hold fire toggle for all infantry squads.

Honestly don't think it would be that out of place for Radio Silence if you'd exchange the smoke element with say the passive speed bonus and would take a look at price.
27 Jan 2021, 02:39 AM
#12
avatar of thedarkarmadillo

Posts: 5279



CP might be a bit late, but I've thought about tying it to say a beacon, so it could be cheaper (or free, depending on radius) but not have a global nature and also so opponent can counterplay it by destroying it, maybe I'll bring a few more ideas up to the team that get posted here.

For now it's mainly focused around the poll options though, also with regards to the soon (tm) patch release.


Its too bad the 223 was used for elite armour as a cache, would have made a great candidate for an earlier timing vessel.

a beacon could work perhaps though, granterd it does almost remove the idea behind it, that being agression that disorganbizes your opponent but removing it from global ability would be a good start for sure.
27 Jan 2021, 02:59 AM
#13
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

Its too bad the 223 was used for elite armour as a cache, would have made a great candidate for an earlier timing vessel.

a beacon could work perhaps though, granterd it does almost remove the idea behind it, that being agression that disorganbizes your opponent but removing it from global ability would be a good start for sure.


Could also designate a unit as temporary "Local Radio Operator" that remains as such while the ability is active and that has the Radio Silence aura around him.

But I do ask myself if such complicated mechanics are meaningful if success is almost entirely dependant on how opponent plays mechanically (with results ranging fron devastated to barely noticed). That's the issue that keeps returning for me.
27 Jan 2021, 03:16 AM
#14
avatar of mrgame2

Posts: 1739

On second thought, just double the muni costs and cooldown time to prevent spamming but still maintain the effectiveness
27 Jan 2021, 04:04 AM
#15
avatar of thedarkarmadillo

Posts: 5279



Could also designate a unit as temporary "Local Radio Operator" that remains as such while the ability is active and that has the Radio Silence aura around him.

But I do ask myself if such complicated mechanics are meaningful if success is almost entirely dependant on how opponent plays mechanically (with results ranging fron devastated to barely noticed). That's the issue that keeps returning for me.


what about something like a captured USF halftrack with the ability (boring but maybe the m5, since it works as captured from all factions then)? give okw another option with forward reinforcement and a tunable unit to deliver on timing. it suits the faction, as well as the ability's source material

beacons arent bad though, be even better if tied to an infiltration unit that has other abilities to sow discord (fake info, soviet scorched earth type ability ect) but thats a lot more work

TBH what i like about the ability is that its impact depends entirely on the enemy. id like to see more abilities that flip the script not less. too late for that i imagine, but i really do like the idea behind it and it was a sleeper ability bfore they gave it sprint. i had it used against me once in a 2s game and it had the desired effect! my mate and i had a hard time coordinating due to incomplete info, but in a fun way...
27 Jan 2021, 06:21 AM
#16
avatar of T.R. Stormjäger

Posts: 3588 | Subs: 3

I love how straight up removing the speed boost isn’t even an option.
27 Jan 2021, 07:26 AM
#17
avatar of achpawel

Posts: 1351

Because it divides players in two categories based on how they use mechanical game controls (muscle memory, years of learning the controls - not their playstyle/tactics) the ability to affect tactical map should be completely removed (even the minimap - but this could probably stay as its effect is less unintuitive/gamebreaking). If the above can't be done, e.g. due to technicalities, the ability should get scrapped (which would be a shame)

If the above can be done the ability should affect the voicelines only. Both armies should become "silent". No voicecues for a certain time duration. The OKW player would control it and that would be his/her advantage plus the speed buff. Such solution would retain the ability, retain its uniqueness and would add a cool feature to the game making it more enjoyable.
27 Jan 2021, 07:49 AM
#18
avatar of porkloin

Posts: 356

From a flavor standpoint a speed bonus for radio silence makes absolutely no sense. A speed malus would be far more in-line with flavor. If radios made troop movements faster no one would use them!

My first thought is an individual squad ability for 15-30 second stealth with no cover requirements but 40% speed, and maybe 2.5 seconds of a .75 damage multiplier on hostile de-cloak.

The idea is you can sneak behind lines for a positional advantage, but the squad is vulnerable if discovered during the stealth phase.
27 Jan 2021, 07:55 AM
#19
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1602 | Subs: 3

I love how straight up removing the speed boost isn’t even an option.


It's not being considered much, because it needs to have another tangible benefit outside "your units will do something cool that may or may not confuse the other player."
27 Jan 2021, 07:55 AM
#20
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 3475 | Subs: 1

Ironically what's missing is a visual warning for the opponent that's the ability is used. The same reason why any off map arty barrage get a smoke alarm or rocket arty a loud sound.

I've been convinced by Lunvest's arguments that no ability should be able to mess up with the game UI so I imagine something similar to what JPA32 proposed

I'd propose instead of making it an aggressive offensive ability that grants sprint, shorten the duration and have it give your units Ambush Camouflage instead. This is both less frustrating to play against since it requires you to initiate a fight to trigger the opponent's ambush, and it's thematic since the point of radio silence is to not give yourself away over comms which perfectly applies to ambush camouflage.


Instead of being an aggressive ability, could be a defensive one. And no more messing up with the player's UI.
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