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At the end the modding team didn’t balance the game.

2 Mar 2022, 09:39 AM
#1
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 3600 | Subs: 1

Before all, let’s agree that the balance team did solve quantity of bugs and release quantity of good quality of life changes.

But they didn’t balance the game, and we can see that with the over-dominance of 2 factions during any 1vs1 tournament. At this stage I’m not even sure if one is superior to the other, which one is used to counter the other but for sure those 2 factions have beneficiated the most of the many changes the modding team applied to the game over the past years.

The modding team had one vision, making Arranged Teams balanced. But arranged team matchs isn’t the game. You see, with factions that have access to any kind of tools and factions that have per-design gaps/weaknesses in their stock roster, balance in AT is problematic because it allows team players to select their factions and coordinate their armies. So when a faction is as per design weaker in a certain aspect of the game and stronger in another to compensate, players in AT just select their faction and coordinate their effort to have one player covering for the weaknesses and the other abusing of the stronger aspect creating an unbalance situation vs factions that have it all available but nothing specially stronger.

So to re-balance this situation for AT games, the modding team just nerfed everything that could be stronger than usual from targeted factions but at the same time weren’t authorized by Relic to provide the necessary changes to fill the corresponding gaps.
Knowing Relic would disagree in filling the various gaps to compensate didn’t stop the modding team from nerfing whatever they considered too strong in their targeted factions, they just came up later on the different media to say it was all Relic's fault to not allow them to do the gap filling.
So we end up today with factions that rely even more on their last crutch units that were un-nerfed to make it for their lack of superior assets in exchange for gaps in their stock roster.

In AT games, the “balance issue” is solved because all available tools are now balanced linearly across all factions, no more superior units to cover for nonexistent/weaker stock tools, you can play any faction strength with no balance issue other than that in reality some factions are still limited in what they can do on the battlefield and only picked for some limited aspects of their gameplay.

For the rest of the player base, who don’t play AT or who simply don’t play that much competitively AT, the game isn't more balanced than before.

Before someone comes with https://coh2stats.com/ data, let’s be clear about what those data shows. They show the win/lose ratio between players but the information isn’t correlated with faction balance.
Even if a faction is stronger or weaker, we’ll all eventually reach the point where we’re only matched vs people we have around 50% chance to win/lose. In fact unless there is something completely broken that’s almost impossible to overcome as an opponent we’ll never see anything relevant from it regarding faction balance.
4 Mar 2022, 12:43 PM
#2
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1197

That's what I have been preaching since day one.

You cannot put bandaids in fundamental problems and call it solved while oversolving other problems.

The main fault of the balance team (or whoever the hell is responsible for that, I don't know) is that they overfixed certain factions that only ever work in AT, neverminding the fact that a very very very small minority of the game plays AT as their main mode.

I will explain with an example: let's take UKF, which is the single worst faction to play with (up to 3v3 random). However, if you can actually get a good teammate that can synergize with you and cover you while you actually spam emplacements, you can win the game with ease.

So, in essence, skill got out of the game and an attempt was made to replace it with "synergy" and "cooperation" eg. giving AT all the glory.

The final nail in the coffin was when the team actually gave randos and AT the same exact matchmaker (for that I have a whole other topic).

What can we do to fix this in COH3:
Make AT and Randos play together only through a checkbox (so you can choose if you want to pair yourself against or with Arranged teams).
Actually design decent factions.
7 Mar 2022, 08:17 AM
#3
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 359

Unpopular opinion: I enjoyed this game more when Relic balanced the game rather than the community balance team.

That being said however, I would have still rathered the community balance team take over than the game being abandoned like Dawn of War 2.

The community balance patches kept the game fresh but I felt they were without vision and full of compromises which made the game worse. Relic patches felt more of a league of legends styled balancing. Units that were previously unused got buffed leading to a new meta. Units overused got nerfed.

A lot of the community changes felt very Axis favoured too. Removing IL-2 from some popular commanders without adding it to any others nerfed Soviets pretty hard. Meanwhile the replacement change on the elefant was OP as all heck and much better than the one it replaced while the Soviet one was useless. This persisted through an entire patch. No hotfixes to nerf it. Prototype changes happening on Axis before hitting Allies was a huge bummer too. Allied armies had to wait another patch before prototype changes applied to their armies. Like Half-Track healing and Sturmtiger buff.

Some of the innocuous changes seemed to favour Axis more rather than Allies. Like MG squad members branching out for vision. Axis has better MGs so this benefits them more. MG retreat no longer deathlooping is not equal either. MG34/42 and Vickers will teleport to random members instead of having a member having to go pick it up. This makes it hard to chase when its retreating especially when one retreating squad member is ahead of the rest, the MG will teleport to them. Maxim and M2HB though? The one carrying the MG will always run in a very predictable line, very easy to focus fire and block. Speaking of Maxim, its expensive garbage because of the community balance team.

Overall, team games was a lot more fun back then than it is now. I wish Relic would revert all the community balance changes and go back to the last Relic patch.

My form of protest: Don't support any 1v1 content. Don't watch it on Youtube, don't talk about it, don't share it, don't sub to those Youtubers. That's what I do to protest. 1v1s balancing ruined team games. This game doesn't need an esports scene, just balance it to keep it fresh instead of boring as it is now.

Sure the game might have more players now than before but that was because they gave the game away for free a couple times.
8 Mar 2022, 08:34 AM
#4
avatar of didimegadudu

Posts: 66

Unpopular opinion: I enjoyed this game more when Relic balanced the game rather than the community balance team.

That being said however, I would have still rathered the community balance team take over than the game being abandoned like Dawn of War 2.

The community balance patches kept the game fresh but I felt they were without vision and full of compromises which made the game worse. Relic patches felt more of a league of legends styled balancing. Units that were previously unused got buffed leading to a new meta. Units overused got nerfed.

A lot of the community changes felt very Axis favoured too. Removing IL-2 from some popular commanders without adding it to any others nerfed Soviets pretty hard. Meanwhile the replacement change on the elefant was OP as all heck and much better than the one it replaced while the Soviet one was useless. This persisted through an entire patch. No hotfixes to nerf it. Prototype changes happening on Axis before hitting Allies was a huge bummer too. Allied armies had to wait another patch before prototype changes applied to their armies. Like Half-Track healing and Sturmtiger buff.

Some of the innocuous changes seemed to favour Axis more rather than Allies. Like MG squad members branching out for vision. Axis has better MGs so this benefits them more. MG retreat no longer deathlooping is not equal either. MG34/42 and Vickers will teleport to random members instead of having a member having to go pick it up. This makes it hard to chase when its retreating especially when one retreating squad member is ahead of the rest, the MG will teleport to them. Maxim and M2HB though? The one carrying the MG will always run in a very predictable line, very easy to focus fire and block. Speaking of Maxim, its expensive garbage because of the community balance team.

Overall, team games was a lot more fun back then than it is now. I wish Relic would revert all the community balance changes and go back to the last Relic patch.

My form of protest: Don't support any 1v1 content. Don't watch it on Youtube, don't talk about it, don't share it, don't sub to those Youtubers. That's what I do to protest. 1v1s balancing ruined team games. This game doesn't need an esports scene, just balance it to keep it fresh instead of boring as it is now.

Sure the game might have more players now than before but that was because they gave the game away for free a couple times.
8 Mar 2022, 08:35 AM
#5
avatar of didimegadudu

Posts: 66

wat is AT? antitank?
8 Mar 2022, 08:55 AM
#6
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 3106 | Subs: 2

wat is AT? antitank?

arranged teams
sometimes also called premade teams. Basically people know each other contrary to random teams.
8 Mar 2022, 12:47 PM
#7
avatar of Crecer13

Posts: 2184 | Subs: 2

Of course, without Relic, this does not make sense. Particularly absurd is voting for a new commander without Relic. In which the commander of the Airborne Forces won, who has nothing appropriate for this commander: neither skin, nor the ability to parachute animation. I think Relic would not have gone bankrupt if it had made it gratitude for the support of the community of the game qualitatively and would have made a small team that would actually make NEW commanders.
8 Mar 2022, 13:00 PM
#8
avatar of GachiGasm

Posts: 1116 | Subs: 1

I believe its just a misunderstanding of concept of "balance". All factions are playable and can win games, there are few underpowered units and few units which are stronger then they should be.

Main problem of CoH2 - its very toxic to play. All factions have situations were you literally have to fight up hill battles.

It feels unbalanced because most of the times power-level of factions goes up and down constantly, without any smooth curve.

On top of that, because of how factions are made there is a huge gap within the players base in terms of how they perform.
Like 222 for example, in hands of average player it performs alright, but in the hands of good players its almost a godlike unit which is super hard to deal with.

On multiple occasions units were buffed\nerfed solely based on the top player perspective.
8 Mar 2022, 13:20 PM
#9
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1197

I believe its just a misunderstanding of concept of "balance". All factions are playable and can win games, there are few underpowered units and few units which are stronger then they should be.

Main problem of CoH2 - its very toxic to play. All factions have situations were you literally have to fight up hill battles.

It feels unbalanced because most of the times power-level of factions goes up and down constantly, without any smooth curve.

On top of that, because of how factions are made there is a huge gap within the players base in terms of how they perform.
Like 222 for example, in hands of average player it performs alright, but in the hands of good players its almost a godlike unit which is super hard to deal with.

On multiple occasions units were buffed\nerfed solely based on the top player perspective.


Good point. I also feel that way about the game a lot.

Imagine for example picking UKF and fighting Wehr with godtier MG and stock mortar whilst you only have some shitty 4man unupgraded squads and (maybe) UC. Yeah no.

Another huge point about community balance patches I have extensively talked about is that they are made by people that ok are very passionate about the game but lacking the design fundamentals of the factions and the way they were meant to be played. The end result was that every faction has become more or less the same (4mainline -> maybe MG -> LV -> ATG -> stall -> Medium Tank) and the flavoring is almost completely gone.

Take for example OKW: the designers at relic sat down and thought "well we have the professional german army with its technologically superior Weapon Teams and Armor, we also have the numberful Soviet army with mediocre but reliable shittier weapons who can do everything (merge), what did we not yet explore? Oh yes, the OKW, the German army that was in disarray during the last offensive. Yes, we could adopt some mechanics to make the player feel that this army is fighting with a low morale aesthetic and is continually on the run (hence, trucks were born). Also, we could add some veteran units that make a homage to the veterans that got redeployed (Obers and Volks) but let's not forget that this army should not be able to produce industrial equipment (hence, no caches) but rather salvage the old ones to survive."

That way, many perfect voice lines and other aesthetics were introduced to make that faction (and USF one, ofc) unique in its own way.

Now contrast this way of thinking with what the community balance team went through: "wow, looks like x faction is performing 1% better at the Antitank department than y faction, let's start thinking about nerfs." or "Well, looks like this machine gun can be spammed, let's just make it more expensive and slower to fire, yep.".

I hope you get me on some level.
8 Mar 2022, 16:03 PM
#10
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 3600 | Subs: 1

I believe its just a misunderstanding of concept of "balance". All factions are playable and can win games, there are few underpowered units and few units which are stronger then they should be.

Main problem of CoH2 - its very toxic to play. All factions have situations were you literally have to fight up hill battles.

It feels unbalanced because most of the times power-level of factions goes up and down constantly, without any smooth curve.

On top of that, because of how factions are made there is a huge gap within the players base in terms of how they perform.
Like 222 for example, in hands of average player it performs alright, but in the hands of good players its almost a godlike unit which is super hard to deal with.

On multiple occasions units were buffed\nerfed solely based on the top player perspective.


Nope, there are 2 factions that just sit on the 3 others and nope again on 90% maps USF/UKF can't win vs Ostheer unless using a specific build order/commander just because they have nothing to counter Ostheer powerspike units like sniper or even HMG and then dual pak40. The reason why you believe they can win is purely due to ELO score and matchmaking being in its essence unbalance atm. But two players with the exact same level playing Ostheer vs UKF or USF on different rounds would irremediably end by Ostheer winning each match. That's what the various tournaments showed us lately.

You can't make each units around their equivalent in other factions somewaht equal and say factions are balanced if some of them are missing units in their stock.

The modding team failed to balance the game because their objective was to balance Arranged-team gameplay which is probably even nicher than 1vs1.
8 Mar 2022, 16:11 PM
#11
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13476 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post8 Mar 2022, 16:03 PMEsxile

...
The modding team failed to balance the game because their objective was to balance Arranged-team gameplay which is probably even nicher than 1vs1.

That is a totally arbitrary claim.
8 Mar 2022, 16:40 PM
#12
avatar of Grim

Posts: 1093

I think giving all factions the basics non-doctrinal would have been the best foundation for further balance.

-Rocket arty for all factions
-MG that actually works and has relevant timing
-FRP for all or none for any.
-Mines
-Late game infantry or long range options for mainline inf. Close range units simply don't work as they should come the late game.
-fuel caches


etc etc.

8 Mar 2022, 16:54 PM
#13
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1197

jump backJump back to quoted post8 Mar 2022, 16:11 PMVipper

That is a totally arbitrary claim.


It is not.

AT niche > 1v1 niche > everything else.

Community devs balanced everything around having predetermined and well-communicating players.
8 Mar 2022, 17:28 PM
#14
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13476 | Subs: 1



It is not.

AT niche > 1v1 niche > everything else.

Community devs balanced everything around having predetermined and well-communicating players.

There is nothing to indicated that game was balanced around arranged teams.

On the contrary silly things like donating weapon/calliopes/priest across team members where removed.

For year the game was being balanced around 1vs1 and the other modes where a mess I am pretty sure most people would not like to back to that.
8 Mar 2022, 19:21 PM
#15
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 3600 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post8 Mar 2022, 17:28 PMVipper

There is nothing to indicated that game was balanced around arranged teams.

On the contrary silly things like donating weapon/calliopes/priest across team members where removed.

For year the game was being balanced around 1vs1 and the other modes where a mess I am pretty sure most people would not like to back to that.


The modding team never hided it. They had the objective to make arranged team more balanced for the reason I exposed, I didn't invent anything that what they say. Where I think they lie to us is the narrative they made of Relic not wanting to allow the necessary changed to compensate their nerf. They always knew Relic wouldn't allow those changes, they probably asked before but still knowing the answer they decided to go through it with the only condition that wouldn't impact much the 1vs1 competitive scene.
1vs1 competitive scene is fine and working if you're happy to see every time the same boring meta. Arranged team competitive scene is working as intended, there are many tournaments 2vs2, 3vs3 and 4vs4. Only thing that doesn't work anymore is the basis of balance between every factions outside of Sov and Ostheer.
8 Mar 2022, 19:28 PM
#16
avatar of Sturmpanther
Lead Strategist Badge

Posts: 5441 | Subs: 35

jump backJump back to quoted post8 Mar 2022, 19:21 PMEsxile




Funny, i hear so often that the changes were only for 1vs1 and no changes for teamgames. Most changes were based on 1vs1 btw. So its the opposite from what you say.
To get a teamgame change took very long.

I am sorry but i don't see why the changes are only based on AT teams lol.
If you have a good random it should be the same. TBH sometimes 2-4 randoms are better than a premade team.

Ofc as premade you can fill some gaps, but that was always the case.

If you talk about 1vs1 cup, yes there you see most of the time soviet vs wehr. But if you look at automatch, you can see usa, okw often too. And some brits.

If you look back we had some small patches, nerfing special units because top players abused it in cups.
There were in all the years 2 teamfocused patches.
1. Where the ele and JT lost some damage, so they can't 2 shot TD's anymore. + Jackson got more HP.
2. Commanderrework, like removing stukadivebomb from ele doc or the il2 bomb from isu.


In short: The most changes were for 1vs1, not teamgames! And def. not focused for premade teams.

P.S I will not start here a long discussion. I don't do this in the forum, so don't wondern, if i don't response often back. Sorry. I learned people here in forum have their own opinion and its very very hard to change that.
8 Mar 2022, 20:11 PM
#17
avatar of CreativeName

Posts: 281

people seem to forget very fast how bad the balance used to be
8 Mar 2022, 21:00 PM
#18
avatar of Gbpirate
Senior Editor Badge

Posts: 1150

people seem to forget very fast how bad the balance used to be


Yeah it was rough for a long time.



A few notes to consider:
1) Balancing the game at a 1v1 level is easier because there are less variables present. A specific unit can be considered in isolation, not necessarily working in tandem with another faction's unit

2) Relic would set the "scope" of the incoming patch. That is, what units could be changed, or what the focus of changes would be.

3) Community feedback was solicited. Oftentimes a community patch would have 4-6 iterations in the Steam workshop for players to test and give feedback. This is one reason why the vanilla game would remain the same for months after changes were first announced

4) Arranged teams have an inherent advantage over non-arranged teams. This is true in any game IMO. The availability of voice chat makes talking with your mates so much easier than having to take the time to text in game. There is only so much that any studio can do to make things easier for randomly assigned teams.

4a) Having separate arranged and random cues is a bad idea unless there is a huge surge in active players in team games. Even with these relatively healthy numbers (I remember the dark days when the peak players was at around 2,000) a separate cue would make wait times extremely long.

5) Balancing the game around the arguably poor faction design of the USF/OKW/UKF was difficult. The factions had unique mechanics but often lacked non-doctrinal tools to deal with all situations one would find in automatch. One effect of the balance patches, community-run or not, was to eliminate some of the unique features of each faction. For example, USF howitzer and M8 Scott no longer fire directly, instead always fire in an arc; OKW mechanized truck no longer makes you prioritize between munition and fuel gain; OKW veterancy levels are toned down so it takes them longer to unlock all abilities and bonuses than before.



There are still some things I'd like to change, such as the general bias of German infantry to be most effective at long range, meaning that they are less micro-intensive because a player can simply attack-move them and trust that they will remain at peak efficiency for a few moments, allowing them to put their attention at another unit somewhere else on the map.

Overall, I think the community patches have kept the game alive. Even just two patches/year keeps the game fresh along with changes to the map pool in all modes. The changes haven't all been good but there were definitely some that improved balance and made some units or abilities less difficult to handle.
8 Mar 2022, 22:16 PM
#19
avatar of GachiGasm

Posts: 1116 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post8 Mar 2022, 16:03 PMEsxile

...


Well duh. We would never know how game would have looked like if all ELO games were balanced. Maybe if all the games were always more or less balanced ELO vise it would allow to make more balance changes.

I dont understand the point of your rant. If you was around WFA release, you should remember how WFA factions actually worked.
With double LMG Obersts and Schreck Volks, because OKW don't have X thing.
USF having terminator rifles, because they dont have any other unit.
UKF ... to stomp AI, but relic forgot to disable UKF in multiplayer.

We've been there, concept of "lack of basic tools traded for raw firepower" is shit concept applied by Relic and WFA factions in their core are based around it. It wont work, because it will always end up creating overpowered units.

And balance team objectively has nothing to do with it, despite occasionally making mistakes. And especially it didn't help at all that Relic in a first place didnt allow to fix all the mess they lest behind.

It a good thing, that CoH2 in terms of balance is just having toxic and frustrating metas. Its an achievement considering how rotten the game\factions foundation is.

As for the fact that tournaments have only OST\SOV picked ... honestly its almost 8 years game, who cares.

jump backJump back to quoted post8 Mar 2022, 16:03 PMEsxile

You can't make each units around their equivalent in other factions somewaht equal and say factions are balanced if some of them are missing units in their stock.


And Relic at multiple occasions had forbidden adding new units and global factions overhauls. At least CoH2 was a really good testing ground of what you absolutely shouldn't do in terms of game design, so CoH3 might end up being a good game.
9 Mar 2022, 00:45 AM
#20
avatar of Rosbone

Posts: 2100 | Subs: 2

I never post about balance. As a 4v4 noob, it does not apply to me. So I do not care.

But it seems impossible to have balance with an asymmetrical design. So you will have power spikes where factions are stronger at different times.

1v1 will always be a boring meta mode. You will not win unless you play the strongest possible way. Probably the best way to help this meta is to have varying map styles to play on. I recall Tric stating this over and over. It will always be the same meta if the maps are all the same. No need to change commanders.

An example could be White Ball or Belgorod being very open maps. Meaning USF pathfinder and M8 spam will be played most of the time. Spamming assault engrs would all but guarantee a loss.

So to counter White Ball and Belgorod we have Essen Steelworks and Elst Outskirts for example. Maps that are designed for a much different style of play. If it were up to me they would all be like White Ball but Sturmpanther would not let me Muwhaaahahahahahh He is a smart guy and knows we need variety in the map pool.

I recall Tric trying to make some 1v1 maps that offered differing play styles but 1v1 players did not want to switch from the meta so the maps were not widely accepted.

Just my 2 cents and bad memory trying to make sense of some options we have for 1v1 meta.
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