Could remove the popcap entirely, so that there isn't any popcap.
I've been thinking about making popcap for armor only. And infantry not have any popcap. Thoughts?
I wanted to make a mod like that but got discouraged at the UI stage.
My idea was to have FOUR separate pop caps. Before you laugh it off, bear with me. They would be called Infantry, Support (weapon teams, some vehicles), Armour (vehicles and tanks) and Elite (elite infantry, tanks and any other "special" or rare unit). Each would have its own color coding and symbol and each would have up to 10 "popcap squares" that would fill up. Some units could take up more than 1 type of popcap.
As a reference, an MG would be 3 Support popcap, engineers would be 1 inf / 1 support, a basic infantry squad would be 2 - 2.5 infantry popcap, whereas elite infantry like Shocks and Obers would take up 3-4 Inf and 3 Elite popcap etc.
The idea is to organically promote combined arms and eliminate spam even in team games. Gone would be howitzer spam, AT gun walls, Panther spam etc (these are all to frequent in 4v4s). But it would also eliminate some 1v1 cheap tactics such as pure infantry spam or MG spam.
It would furthermore present an additional design knob that would allow some units to shine. Through clever use of popcap you could unnerf some units that were nerfed to the ground over the years. For example the Sturmtiger could take up 5 tank, 8 support, and 5 elite popcap, meaning you could field no more than 1 Ober squad alongside it, and you'd have practically NO support weapons. In this environment suddenly it no longer makes sense to overnerf the Sturmtiger, as fielding it means you have demonstrably gutted your army in a few other key aspects that means you can counterplay against it. Jagdtiger could be restored to its former overpowered glory if it took up 7 Armour and 9 Support popcap, because that popcap would mean that the OKW player has no support weapons of any kind and can only have, say, 1 Schreck fusiliers (in this example let's say Schrecking up Fusiliers takes up 1 support popcap). Suddenly the Jagd player has a weakness that can be exploited.
For example, there is a thread about the Pack howitzer up right now. Now let's say an Ambo is 3 support popcap and Pack howitzer is 4 support popcap. You would never be able to get 2 pack howies AND an ambulance. Getting 2 pack howies would practically leave you without other support weapons OR even other units that take up support popcap (maybe 105 Shermans take up 3 tank and 2 support popcap each? etc. etc.) This means that there would be counterplay to twin pack howies -to exploit the weakness in the army composition that the US player opend himself up to.
Medium tanks are where this game shines and they should be the gold standard against which to balance all antitank and other armour. Anything heavier than that should either come with a gimmick or some sort of restriction.
I am not saying heavy tanks are too oppressive, as they are fairly balanced. But they are balanced by having extremely powerful tank destroyers and AT guns on both sides.
This makes medium armour just another tier in the game to step over. Medium armour should be the highest, most affordable, most numerous armour in the game. Not just for history / authenticity reasons but because they are also fun to play. Their dynamics work fairly well in the game, but they aren't given the space to breathe and come into their own because anything antitank built after the 30 minute mark was buffed to high heavens so that the few commanders with Tigers and IS2s are not instawin buttons.
Nice article, although I can't say I agree with everything. One thing that is easy to forget is just how revolutionary CoH1 was when it came out, but that was 12 years ago and we haven't actually had anything revolutionary in the RTS world since. So it gets a pretty intense rose-tinted glasses treatment.
Keywords for success of CoH series are: squad control, flanking, anti-blob deterrents, suppression, territory control, medium tank play, and frontal armour. And yet, every single goddamn time
they manage to fuck it up and introduce new factions / commanders / game mechanics that shit all over these factors and break the intended meta. Enjoy your green cover tactical battles? Haha nvm we have snipers. You like how frontal armour works and makes tanks really tanky? Lul nvm we introduced a buttload of heavy tanks so now everyone must have ultra powerful tank destroyers that penetrate EVERYTHING and thus mediums get fucked in the process. That oughta increase tactics!!1
On a less cynical note, if I really had to make a checklist of guidelines for an ideal CoH3 game, it would be:
- have separate balancing or even completely different game modes for team games. There are people who obviously love hardcore 1v1 action, and there are people who enjoy massive 8 player battles over large maps, and never the twain shall meet. Nor should they. There is place for both. Relic should admit that they have a huge player base for team games and maybe take a look at the market and realize that only a studio allergic to money and high player counts would stick stubbornly to focusing solely on 1v1 support. By all means keep the 1v1 as-is, keep the nailbiters and tourneys, but don't treat 80% of your playerbase as second class citizens.
- esports meme needs to die. It didn't work when Relic tried it, esports CoH will never succeed in the world of fortnites and starcrafts and MOBAs, and most importantly, it greatly affects game design. Esports leads to sanitized games and boring game mechanics.
- never ever experiment with these again: global purchasable veterancy, blob-encouraging veterancy / modifiers, Romulan cloaking device snipers, factions without mobile weapon crews, easy access to heavy and ultraheavy tanks.
Why Katyusha is weaker than Jagdpanzer IV?
Jagdpanzer is T2 unit and Katyusha is T4 unit, therefore Katyusha should be able to win against Jagdpanzer
The other day I rushed a Jp and a few Stugs (all of which, as you know, are inferior, T2 units) with 6 of my elite T4 Katyushas and they all died wtf lelic fix your shit
If caches are worth 250 manpower in a 1v1, they should be worth 1000 manpower in a 4v4 since they literally provied 4x the benefit for the same cost at the moment. I don't see how this is even up for a debate.
Another thing that nobody mentions is that caches make infantry flanking (AKA the one thing that could redeem 4v4s) much more difficult, if not flat out impossible, because it serves as a 40 meter radar against infantry as they will immediately shoot it like their life depended on placing a rifle round into a piece of wood.
Speaking as a 1v1 and 4v4 player, I agree completely that Relic dropped the ball hard by not making a special game mode for 4v4 that has completely separate rules.
Balancing around 1v1 and then dropping the same units, commanders and abilities into much larger maps with 4x the player count? It's a wonder 4v4s work as well as they do, honestly.
I shit on MOBAs as much as the next guy (and we saw how well Relic tackles the concept in the disaster that was DoW3), but I really think if Relic released a dedicated 4v4 mode with focus on cooperation and with commanders being radically different, separate from 1v1s, then they would attract an ENORMOUS chunk of multiplayer-rts hungry crowd. I am talking 10x or 20x the current playerbase. But of course it's easy for me to speculate since it's not my money on the line.
When I say completely different I mean remove core factions, remove teching, EVERYTHING is in the commander trees, you get 4 units and 3 abilities and that's it. If you think that would be boring just pick a different commander next game and you have a 100% different experience.
The commanders would have to be TAILOR MADE to 4v4s to be useless alone but have to synergize. Commanders with tanks never get engineers and vice versa, commanders with elite infantry never get elite tanks or MGs. Not every commander has mortars, nor MGs, so you encounter less of those. Best of all you would not be encountering the exact same units and strats every single game, since people would have to mix their abilities and units in combined arms.
Add in smaller, custom made maps, and tweak teching so that the action starts IMMEDIATELY and matches last 20 minutes per game.
I will say this - the patch was a godsend for team games (although artillery is becoming a bit too dominant for my taste on both sides).
I can see how 2v2s would be compromised but this particular ragequit was a sniper issue. Every time snipers are mentioned I am required to do some frothing at the mouth so here goes: this is not the patch's fault. If you watch the stream this is about snipers/guards which is a venerable combo that just happened to not be in meta for a year or because maxim spam and then ultra penals were introduced.
in DBP snipers were not altered significantly enough to start dominating the meta, and have in fact received a significant nerf about a year ago. They are still too useful versus infantry for my liking. Snipers as they are have no place in CoH2. They completely go against what the game is about - they ignore cover, they are not implemented with any measure of authenticity, and they become a kiting / dancing game.
Also this will sound a bit evil but the way they got their lefh / schwerer bombed as Hans ragequit was very amusing to me. Hans is so, so annoyed by it and yet the only thing on my mind was literally 2 years of getting NukaStuka'd in team games for 160 ammo every time I dared set up a static defence. But suddenly it's a problem when Allies can do it (and bombing runs weren't even buffed)
Is this the place to report bugs? Cause I encountered the following:
- My US AA HT, while stationary and in parking brake mode, tracked but did not shoot at, Ostheer recon planes. 4v4 on Lanzerath. Happened at least a few times. To the best of my knowledge, it was the regular recon plane, not the high altitude one.
- Some map, I believe it was the same game (Lanzerath 4v4), its name in the loading screen was a series of digits where the map name would normally be.
- In a separate game, my ally on teamspeak reported that queuing up multiple AT nades on multiple conscript squads results in all nades after the 1st to not be thrown without refunding the ammo cost.
I dislike guaranteed one-shot kills of any kind. I understand the reasoning of the mod team that howitzers need to be killable by a single ability lest they become incredibly difficult to dislodge. Nobody likes arty spamfests and with the new prices it seems likely that arty spamfest is a distinct possibility if howitzers are not kept in check somehow. Additionally, the meta will change after DBP and hopefully we will be seeing less SDB doctrines overall (especially the Ele+SDB commander, who has plagued the 4v4 scene for a long time now).
I've long proposed for SDB (and any Allied same-cost counterpart) to not destroy a full health howitzer but reduce it to ~5% hit points, decrew it and apply a "main gun mangled" critical. This critical would disable firing and also increase the repair time by a factor of 3 while active (not sure if such a thing is possible with the existing modding capabilities). It would only go away at 100% hit points. When it goes away, it also puts the howitzer on full cooldown.
This way you do not instantly destroy a howitzer with a one-click wipe, but you do remove its veterancy, put it out of commission for a very long time and also tie up their engineers who could otherwise be minesweeping or flamethrowing. Not to mention engineers repairing it are at a significant risk, as literally any follow up attack on the position, by a mortar or a rocket arty, would be guaranteed to kill the repairing dudes and prolong the repair process even more.
If the SDB target tables were further tweaked to almost kill a full health healthy howitzer, then combining an SDB with farting at its general direction with a gun or a grenade or a mortar would still outright destroy the gun.
Note that this was a proposal before DBP changes. I suppose 200 ammo + recon cost should result in the outright destruction of a 400 mp / 50 fu howitzer.
The Panther needs a very small tweak and I hope the balance team gets it right. But it's not that bad as people say it is.
So the thing is, this was originally supposed to help team games become balanced. Lots of units that do not even surface in 1v1s turn the tide in 3v3s+. Panther is one such unit. In a 1v1 it is murder to stall until t4, so the Panther naturally underperforms when you consider the tech costs involved. In a team game you have more or less the same amount of territory points to fight over, but 4 times more people going at it. Having a mobile kampfgruppe of Panthers is practically uncounterable for cost by the Allies.
Now, I am not saying that the Panther is in a good place or that it should be nerfed into the ground. Frankly I can think of no solution that would equally please 1v1 players and 4v4 players. So keep that in mind. Just offering perspective.
I feel that the Panther was not nerfed based on its 1v1 performance, but based on the fact that a flock of Panthers roaming the battlefield are a hallmark 4v4 strat.
When there is only 1 Panther (which is usually the case in 1v1s), if you snare it, you can at least exploit it. In a 4v4 you cannot dive to kill it with tank destroyers (since the other Panthers and God knows what else will pounce on you) which means damaged panthers can keep reversing with its monstrous frontal armour. Which translates into a lot of veteran Panthers roaming the battlefield at the 35 minute mark, and that is usually followed by a "gg" typed into the all chat by the allied team..