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

12 Mar 2022, 18:21 PM
#41
avatar of SkysTheLimit

Posts: 3386 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post12 Mar 2022, 17:21 PMEsxile

What the point you're trying to make here? Nobody say balance was better back then

Actually someone literally just said that balance was better back then:

If anything it is my opinion that they made the balance worse than it was before. Even when giving feedback about things that would be overpowered they ignored it and released it anyway just to do a hotfix later.

(JLI, Fallschirmjäger, B4, Sturmtiger, Sector Assault among the many offenders caused by the balance team)


No one's saying things are perfectly balanced now either. But I much prefer what we have now to the past

Everytime Relic added a new commander, the gods flipped a coin (me paraphrasing George R.R. Martin)
MMX
12 Mar 2022, 18:34 PM
#42
avatar of MMX

Posts: 999 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post12 Mar 2022, 17:21 PMEsxile


What the point you're trying to make here? Nobody say balance was better back then but that today we've shift to something else that isn't more balanced.


Well, I guess there are clearly at least some people in whose opinion things were better in the good old days...


If anything it is my opinion that they made the balance worse than it was before.


Though I fail to grasp why anyone could come to the conclusion that the patches overall did the game more harm than good.
12 Mar 2022, 21:25 PM
#43
avatar of KoRneY

Posts: 643

jump backJump back to quoted post12 Mar 2022, 17:21 PMEsxile

What the point you're trying to make here? Nobody say balance was better back then but that today we've shift to something else that isn't more balanced.


What Sky said

It's better but not perfect. If you're still bad then that's on you
13 Mar 2022, 07:47 AM
#44
avatar of Esxile

Posts: 3506 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post12 Mar 2022, 18:34 PMMMX


Well, I guess there are clearly at least some people in whose opinion things were better in the good old days...



Though I fail to grasp why anyone could come to the conclusion that the patches overall did the game more harm than good.


Which days? thats a 7 years old game patched constantly every 6 months? Imo balance was better couple of years ago. When you could see variety of factions during tournaments. The flipping coin to me was when the modding overbuffed JLI and we had to suffer it for 6 months. Then from that point balance just went bad to worst.

13 Mar 2022, 09:25 AM
#45
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13375 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post13 Mar 2022, 07:47 AMEsxile


Which days? thats a 7 years old game patched constantly every 6 months? Imo balance was better couple of years ago. When you could see variety of factions during tournaments. The flipping coin to me was when the modding overbuffed JLI and we had to suffer it for 6 months. Then from that point balance just went bad to worst.


That is another gross exaggeration JIL where fixed within a couple of months.
13 Mar 2022, 12:45 PM
#46
avatar of Protos Angelus

Posts: 1502

Overall the balance is better. The QoL fixes have been great. Problem is that the factions have been watered down, given how 90% of balancing revolves around 1v1s. For some reason, the balance team wanted the most competitive e-sport balance there is, and thus nerfed a lot of "OP" stuff that the DLC factions relied upon in favor of reworking the "basic" stuff.
So now you have Soviets and Wehr, which are the two most complete, well-rounded and strongest factions for 1v1s.
USF depends on the early snowball a lot.
Brits are a special kind of stupid. Encampments nerfed to the ground and buffs given to a lot of indirects to quickly deal with them (flame).
OKW has a 300 MP starting unit that can wipe each other starting unit in 90% of scenarios but they lack an early MG (like the US) and have no mortar. For the existence of elite obers, the volks scale worse (and thus obers are terminators with MG34s and vet2).

I definitely would have done some things differently, if it were up to me. However, given how the team did it for free (so they say) throughout the years, you can't really blame them. I would have liked more asymmetry in the game, and not the cookie-cutting, symmetrical 1v1 balance that has been going around throughout the last couple of years... but eh. It is what it is
14 Mar 2022, 13:40 PM
#47
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1190


What, you mean the 'glory' days of ML-20s in HQs leveling your own HQ in 1v1/2v2?
Impossible to see boobytraps so you stop counting squad losses?
Tsunami of iron men with schrecks?
Unkillable emplacements with 0s(?) CD brace?
Sniper clown car?
Combined Arms bug?

I don't get why people miss this era for the balancing.


>"This balance sucks, here's why why and why".
>"Older balance was worse, because reasons".

Do you seriously expect people to take you seriously friend? I know about the old balance true there were a lot of inconsistencies however the factions were not watered down versions of some AoEII style design book. They actually were unique in many ways. Outsourcing design decisions is the worst thing a company can do.

Don't forget that UKF as a whole were outsourced, and I am afraid parts of OKW/USF were too. This will also happen in COH3 sadly.

The only trully commendable achievement are the QOL fixes. Maybe if we had custom hotkeys it would be 100% good but it is what it is as some previous guy here said.
14 Mar 2022, 13:45 PM
#48
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1190

jump backJump back to quoted post12 Mar 2022, 21:25 PMKoRneY


What Sky said

It's better but not perfect. If you're still bad then that's on you


Games most of all are supposed to be -get this- fun. I can agree with you on every point that the old balance was horrible stats-wise sure, but atleast every faction felt different and more flavorful.

OK sure, UKF were a shitstorm. Those units you mentioned were too. But overall, the game was fun to me. Did I spam JLI? Sure. Did I purchase UKF just to rape with emplacements? Sure.

That's fun.
14 Mar 2022, 14:17 PM
#49
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1190

Some general thoughts

  • Balancing anything relying on numbers and statistics is a choice that can only make something dull, boring and uncreative. In the same sense, balancing a game over numbers is doomed to failure.
  • It is a mathematical truth that given a specific ordering system and a bounded space there will always be an infimum and supremum. In the same exact sense, in the game COH2 there will always be "OP" units and "UP" units.
  • Immediate consequence of I and II is that there can never be good, as in "fair", balance.
  • Immediate from III, we can see that it is pointless to balance anything just for the sake of balancing. Thus, we need to form a new medium of thought that, in its context, "balancing" can make sense logically and philosophically.
  • Relic needs to incorporate more design in their next game, COH3. COH can never, and will never, become an esport like CSGO and LOL and DOTA2. So there is literally no point in trying to make a superb RTS only for these people.
  • The current balance team focused way too much on the symmetry aspect, because they have zero game design experience. However, as history has shown a game's merits are its design habits not its numerical accuracy.
  • COH1, notwithstanding a lot of design pitfalls, was a supremely good game because it had an extremely good sense of design and flavor. Sure, some numbercuck will reply and tell me that UKF's trucks were OP or that MarderIII from PE was way too costly for what it gave. And the correct answer to that is only one: nobody cares. Literally, nobody. COH1 was a perfect RTS game because every faction had a whole other playstyle associated with it whilst at the same time having a good general picture.
  • Relic, rightfully so, after a while stopped working on COH2 for a lot of reasons (I would observe they were more focused on team morale, as working on something for 10 years+ is never good creatively or otherwise). I must commend the balance team for keeping the game alive and not wrecking it or making it empty. I still pass a lot of time with COH2. That does not mean that this method of handling design should be reemployed.

14 Mar 2022, 17:13 PM
#50
avatar of Crecer13

Posts: 2114 | Subs: 2

I always liked the earlier CoH2. Yes, it was sometimes just broken and here on the forum there was a lot of controversy about it, but the game was much more interesting, livelier and more intense, 0-1 matches were not uncommon. And now the game has become very tasteless. Sometimes balance and fun and enjoyment of the game are opposites.
14 Mar 2022, 17:19 PM
#51
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1190

I always liked the earlier CoH2. Yes, it was sometimes just broken and here on the forum there was a lot of controversy about it, but the game was much more interesting, livelier and more intense, 0-1 matches were not uncommon. And now the game has become very tasteless. Sometimes balance and fun and enjoyment of the game are opposites.


+1.
15 Mar 2022, 14:00 PM
#52
avatar of Farlion

Posts: 379 | Subs: 1

I see a lot of people in this thread lack any sort of nuance. Unsurprising.

Let's start by saying the balance team was dealt a bad hand. A lot of the issues in Coh2 are the result of bad faction design. Brits lacking essential tools to deal with basic things, and instead having to rely on dumb and op designs that are neither fun to play as nor against. OKW too shares some of these issues. You can get superb light vehicles, or you can get healing. That is simply bad design. The game should not lock you out of essential pieces of the game. USF is the closest expansion faction that has a somewhat reasonable design, but that required a lot of reworks by the balance team. In an ideal world, the factions would be have been designed like they seem to be in Coh3. Yes, you can go to T2A or T2B with the Wehrmacht in Coh3, but neither will lock you out essential things like light vehicles or AT guns.

Another factor that made Coh2 incredibly hard to balance are the poor maps (this is mostly an issue in 2v2 since it has the poorest and most neglected map pool, but I guess it can be in 3v3 in 4v4 too). When all maps are laney or wide open fields with no flanking, that typically favors Axis. Half of the 2v2 Maps consist of this, which means USF has a very hard time against something like LMG Grens. How do you balance such an issue, since it has actually nothing to do with balance per se?

Finally, it probably didn't help the balance team had to balance around all four game modes. But not only do they play differently, but there is a vast difference in skill between the average 1v1/2v2 player and someone who mains 4v4. Here, the balance team made the right choice in trying to focus on balancing 1v1 and 2v2, since you cannot balance the game around people who have a fundamental lack of understanding of the game.

With that said, while the balance team was dealt a bad hand, they didn't play their cards particularly well either. A common sense solution to make Brits more viable would have been to make the Land Mattress stock. But we know from the balance team that Relic vetoed that idea. Yet their in response was to add the miserable heavy mortar pit barrage, which just doubles down on the terrible design.

There were a number of very strange decisions, that they should have known were bad ideas. Buffing the Sturmtiger and making it to as close as an I-Win-Button as you can get was completely inexcusable. Units like the Sturmtiger, AVRE or B4 should not be competitive units that allow you to one-click an opponents squad.

Buffing the 120mm Mortar, while at the same time nerfing Counter-Battery should have been obvious omen of what was to come. It's a testament to how broken the 120mm is that the ML Mod had to nerf it because it breaks the game on a competitive level. And now 1v1 and 2v2 automatch is forever sttck with this brokenly OP, 2 CP mortar that, as it so happens, is in the best Soviet doctrine.

When it comes to reworking infantry, outside of two examples, the balance team had to, in some way, revert every single one of them, because they turned out to be too god. Examples: JLIs, VSL Grens, Fussis, 7 man Cons, Tommies (multiple times), and so forth.

Speaking of Cons, I want to talk about that change in particular, because I think it's the root of virtually all power creeps in the game. The 7 man conscript change just absolutely atomized the infantry balance in 1v1 and 2v2, to the point Cons received multiple nerfs in virtually every patch, but still are probably the best mainline infantry in the game. The other thing it did was to give the Soviets several indirect buffs. Because Cons were now viable, Penals were no longer needed. Therefore, every Soviet now had access to T2, rather than T1. Unlike Penals, 7 man cons don't bleed, because they build green cover everywhere. Green cover they can place for Guards, and then merge into, further reducing bleed. Combine that with the hyper-effective T34/76, and you now have a faction with by far the most options, strategic depth, and comeback potential. It also made it so that 3 out of 5 factions will now just plaster the map with green cover everywhere.

But the worst part is that that change meant that both the Axis factions, in particular the Wehrmacht, received buffs that they shouldn't have in order to remain competitive. This in turn left USF and UKF behind in the powercreep, to the point where they have mostly disappeared from competitive play in 1v1 and 2v2 (outside of a certain USF doctrine, which I'll get to in a second). OKW's aforementioned awful design has also played a part in why it disappeared from competitive play in 1v1.

But of course I have to get to the one thing that ruins 2v2s and up far more than anything else. Namely, the combination of the Scott buff with USF Airborne. Anyone with half a brain can play Pathfinders and get a decent rank with them. And that's not necessarily on the balance team. After all, they changed Pathfinders years ago, and it took forever for people to realize that they were good. But what is the balance team's fault is that they, for some utterly bizarre reason, decided to throw in a Scott buff (a unit that was buffed three patches in a row, no less) into what they knew was going to be the very last patch. And this is what made the airborne build so powerful. Before, you could counter it with Obers or team weapon spam as Wehrmacht. Now? Your infantry gets deleted by the Pathfinders, your tanks rendered useless by the Jacksons, and your support weapons more or less two-shotted by the Scotts. In other words, they introduced an experimental change into a patch that they knew they would not be able to fix.

Again, not all the balance team did was bad, and anyone who says that the game would be better off without them is, quite frankly, an idiot. All the QoL changes were excellent additions, and by and large, the balance team has done an excellent job with commander reworks. But ultimately, the current meta that is the result of the balance team's work, is probably among the worst it has ever been.

Tl;dr: The circumstances in which they had to balance the game was poor, but they didn't do a good job either.



15 Mar 2022, 17:37 PM
#53
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1190

jump backJump back to quoted post15 Mar 2022, 14:00 PMFarlion
I see a lot of people in this thread lack any sort of nuance. Unsurprising.

Let's start by saying the balance team was dealt a bad hand. A lot of the issues in Coh2 are the result of bad faction design. Brits lacking essential tools to deal with basic things, and instead having to rely on dumb and op designs that are neither fun to play as nor against. OKW too shares some of these issues. You can get superb light vehicles, or you can get healing. That is simply bad design. The game should not lock you out of essential pieces of the game. USF is the closest expansion faction that has a somewhat reasonable design, but that required a lot of reworks by the balance team. In an ideal world, the factions would be have been designed like they seem to be in Coh3. Yes, you can go to T2A or T2B with the Wehrmacht in Coh3, but neither will lock you out essential things like light vehicles or AT guns.

Another factor that made Coh2 incredibly hard to balance are the poor maps (this is mostly an issue in 2v2 since it has the poorest and most neglected map pool, but I guess it can be in 3v3 in 4v4 too). When all maps are laney or wide open fields with no flanking, that typically favors Axis. Half of the 2v2 Maps consist of this, which means USF has a very hard time against something like LMG Grens. How do you balance such an issue, since it has actually nothing to do with balance per se?

Finally, it probably didn't help the balance team had to balance around all four game modes. But not only do they play differently, but there is a vast difference in skill between the average 1v1/2v2 player and someone who mains 4v4. Here, the balance team made the right choice in trying to focus on balancing 1v1 and 2v2, since you cannot balance the game around people who have a fundamental lack of understanding of the game.

With that said, while the balance team was dealt a bad hand, they didn't play their cards particularly well either. A common sense solution to make Brits more viable would have been to make the Land Mattress stock. But we know from the balance team that Relic vetoed that idea. Yet their in response was to add the miserable heavy mortar pit barrage, which just doubles down on the terrible design.

There were a number of very strange decisions, that they should have known were bad ideas. Buffing the Sturmtiger and making it to as close as an I-Win-Button as you can get was completely inexcusable. Units like the Sturmtiger, AVRE or B4 should not be competitive units that allow you to one-click an opponents squad.

Buffing the 120mm Mortar, while at the same time nerfing Counter-Battery should have been obvious omen of what was to come. It's a testament to how broken the 120mm is that the ML Mod had to nerf it because it breaks the game on a competitive level. And now 1v1 and 2v2 automatch is forever sttck with this brokenly OP, 2 CP mortar that, as it so happens, is in the best Soviet doctrine.

When it comes to reworking infantry, outside of two examples, the balance team had to, in some way, revert every single one of them, because they turned out to be too god. Examples: JLIs, VSL Grens, Fussis, 7 man Cons, Tommies (multiple times), and so forth.

Speaking of Cons, I want to talk about that change in particular, because I think it's the root of virtually all power creeps in the game. The 7 man conscript change just absolutely atomized the infantry balance in 1v1 and 2v2, to the point Cons received multiple nerfs in virtually every patch, but still are probably the best mainline infantry in the game. The other thing it did was to give the Soviets several indirect buffs. Because Cons were now viable, Penals were no longer needed. Therefore, every Soviet now had access to T2, rather than T1. Unlike Penals, 7 man cons don't bleed, because they build green cover everywhere. Green cover they can place for Guards, and then merge into, further reducing bleed. Combine that with the hyper-effective T34/76, and you now have a faction with by far the most options, strategic depth, and comeback potential. It also made it so that 3 out of 5 factions will now just plaster the map with green cover everywhere.

But the worst part is that that change meant that both the Axis factions, in particular the Wehrmacht, received buffs that they shouldn't have in order to remain competitive. This in turn left USF and UKF behind in the powercreep, to the point where they have mostly disappeared from competitive play in 1v1 and 2v2 (outside of a certain USF doctrine, which I'll get to in a second). OKW's aforementioned awful design has also played a part in why it disappeared from competitive play in 1v1.

But of course I have to get to the one thing that ruins 2v2s and up far more than anything else. Namely, the combination of the Scott buff with USF Airborne. Anyone with half a brain can play Pathfinders and get a decent rank with them. And that's not necessarily on the balance team. After all, they changed Pathfinders years ago, and it took forever for people to realize that they were good. But what is the balance team's fault is that they, for some utterly bizarre reason, decided to throw in a Scott buff (a unit that was buffed three patches in a row, no less) into what they knew was going to be the very last patch. And this is what made the airborne build so powerful. Before, you could counter it with Obers or team weapon spam as Wehrmacht. Now? Your infantry gets deleted by the Pathfinders, your tanks rendered useless by the Jacksons, and your support weapons more or less two-shotted by the Scotts. In other words, they introduced an experimental change into a patch that they knew they would not be able to fix.

Again, not all the balance team did was bad, and anyone who says that the game would be better off without them is, quite frankly, an idiot. All the QoL changes were excellent additions, and by and large, the balance team has done an excellent job with commander reworks. But ultimately, the current meta that is the result of the balance team's work, is probably among the worst it has ever been.

Tl;dr: The circumstances in which they had to balance the game was poor, but they didn't do a good job either.





Very good post.

I agree 100% that 2v2 map pool is the most limiting to allied factions. Never thought of that, and it is true.
15 Mar 2022, 19:09 PM
#54
avatar of rumartinez89

Posts: 591

jump backJump back to quoted post15 Mar 2022, 14:00 PMFarlion



I agree with most of what you say if not all. Another issue which hopefully is addressed in COH3 is upgrades with no downsides specifically on mainlines. Why wouldn't you get 7mans, LMGrens, G43 Pfussies and so on, they can snare fight off infantry and provide other utility such as flares or sandbags which is hard to balance. It pretty much makes most elites useless and the elites that are used are usually broken in some way. Using Guards as an example, it can scare off lights, button vehicles with its no downside upgrade and keep efficiency by merging with conscripts. Doing this with shocks is foolish due to loss of armor and horrible Rec ACC vet since they are balanced around having said armor.
I hope they make elites or infantry in general similar to Airborne(Assault)Guards/Paratroopers, these units have multiple upgrades for short/long range or AT. You gain something while also losing and for USF the doctrine gives Paratroopers either demo or mines. These changes add some more choice and thought to what you want to do and how your enemy needs to respond.

Used soviets as an example due to most agreeing they are the strongest or tied with OST.
15 Mar 2022, 22:14 PM
#55
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 353

I always liked the earlier CoH2. Yes, it was sometimes just broken and here on the forum there was a lot of controversy about it, but the game was much more interesting, livelier and more intense, 0-1 matches were not uncommon. And now the game has become very tasteless. Sometimes balance and fun and enjoyment of the game are opposites.


+1
15 Mar 2022, 23:19 PM
#56
avatar of Garrett

Posts: 248 | Subs: 1

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


Yes, let's not forget when you could win the game with one click - oh wait, that was just recently the case with the Sturmtiger...
16 Mar 2022, 14:22 PM
#57
avatar of BasedSecretary

Posts: 1190

jump backJump back to quoted post15 Mar 2022, 23:19 PMGarrett


Yes, let's not forget when you could win the game with one click - oh wait, that was just recently the case with the Sturmtiger...


I have been playing OKW since its release.

STurmtiger was never as bad as this forum claims to have been, and never was "the gold standard" of unbalancing.

It was just intimidating because 95% people here play only with superupgraded blobs and 0 depth strategy. Then sure, Sturmtiger can wreck you badly. Other than that, it's a literal case mate which can only shoot once and then it must reload for 30+ secs. 1 Medium tank, 1 ATG + 2 snares is all it takes to go down the gutter. Also, its cost makes you skip the P4J, which many times is wrong.

And to further prove my point: what did balance team did to """fix""" Sturmtiger? They made it just a tad costlier and moved it a tad in CP (so as to give the allies some time to get an ATG I suppose) and also disallowed it to upgrade and throw gren. Not a single stat change.
16 Mar 2022, 23:08 PM
#58
avatar of Willy Pete

Posts: 242



It was just intimidating because 95% people here play only with superupgraded blobs and 0 depth strategy. Then sure, Sturmtiger can wreck you badly. Other than that, it's a literal case mate which can only shoot once and then it must reload for 30+ secs. 1 Medium tank, 1 ATG + 2 snares is all it takes to go down the gutter. Also, its cost makes you skip the P4J, which many times is wrong.

THis isnt true at all, if it wipes 1 vetted squad then the rocket was worth it. WHich is what good ppl actually used it for. Forget blobs, just slowly nuke the vet of all your opponenets squads one by one


And to further prove my point: what did balance team did to """fix""" Sturmtiger? They made it just a tad costlier and moved it a tad in CP (so as to give the allies some time to get an ATG I suppose) and also disallowed it to upgrade and throw gren. Not a single stat change.

Again you are completely wrong. They changed multiple stats, the fuck u talking about? THey nerfed its firing range a while ago, removed a bunch of criticals, reduced the damage, etc. You literally couldnt be more wrong about that
aaa
17 Mar 2022, 05:49 AM
#59
avatar of aaa

Posts: 1485

i always used all 10 groups available. 1 group for each unit. Exept 1 group for 2 enginers
17 Mar 2022, 06:40 AM
#60
avatar of Applejack

Posts: 353



I have been playing OKW since its release.

STurmtiger was never as bad as this forum claims to have been, and never was "the gold standard" of unbalancing.

It was just intimidating because 95% people here play only with superupgraded blobs and 0 depth strategy. Then sure, Sturmtiger can wreck you badly. Other than that, it's a literal case mate which can only shoot once and then it must reload for 30+ secs. 1 Medium tank, 1 ATG + 2 snares is all it takes to go down the gutter. Also, its cost makes you skip the P4J, which many times is wrong.

And to further prove my point: what did balance team did to """fix""" Sturmtiger? They made it just a tad costlier and moved it a tad in CP (so as to give the allies some time to get an ATG I suppose) and also disallowed it to upgrade and throw gren. Not a single stat change.


They made it so that the Sturmtiger doesn't decrew if you get hit while reloading and making the projectile a lot more reliable.

Who would've thunk that sturmtiger without the downsides would be OP /s
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