Having a great player and 3 noobs fight 4 average players is not a fair game in CoH. The noobs will get rolled and the 4 average players will then roll over the great player with ease. If the matching system took 4 average players and pit them against another 4 average players, then it makes a difference if one team is arranged.
The main issue isn't the arranged teams, it's how "basic" the match-making system is. It just grabs up to 4 random players, and if their average ELO is the same as the other group, starts the match. This is incredibly bad in a game like CoH2, where a single good player can't really "carry" the game like they could in something like Counterstrike, or maybe even Star Craft - a "world's best" player is simply going to lose against even two average/good players (say, top 400?).
It would be nice if the auto-match system gave a little bit of an advantage to random teams when facing pre-mades, to compensate for the likely-hood of the premade using voice chat, but fixing the matchmaking formula would go much further in improving game quality.
Hopefully we'll get some more info about matchmaking.
It depends on the commander. Commandos from Commando Regiment I legit haven't seen in the past year or so.
If I do see Commandos at all its from Mobile Assault Regiment (Infiltration Commandos). Most of the time I see either Churchil Avre commander or Lend Lease since that covers all of UKF's weak spots. Though UKF is kind of rare compared to Soviets from my experience.
Even in recent COH2 tournaments UKF were kind of rare as well.
Interesting; I would say I almost always see Commando Regiment in UKF loadouts, and with UKF being present in well over 50% of matches. What modes/skill level are you playing at, out of curiosity? I could understand if this was the case for 1v1, but within the top ~200 of 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 this is definitely not the case.
There are no such thing as "excel far more in every type engagement", default commando only excel within 10m like most other smg squad, further than that and their dps drop off very fast, which is why they are given the assault cammo in the fist palce, to get into that close range. Sure, they can do well with bren at long range but the setup is sub-optimal and require further invesment.
I did say "barring long-range" because that's now how they're intended to be used - Commandos aren't going to beat LMG Grens at range, and no one is expecting them to. My point is that when used correctly they're far better than anything else; they can use smoke to clear that range gap, they can use their "moving camo" to close that range gap, and most of all, they can throw an incredibly powerful grenade from cover once they get to that "close" range (it's 20m, though). And then, if somehow they lose, they pop smoke on retreat greatly improving their survivability (even if it's on cooldown).
No other unit can do this. No other unit can come close to doing this as they're missing pieces of the kit; grenades, but no moving stealth. Moving stealth, but no grenades. Moving stealth and grenades, but no close quarter weapons. Commandos have all three, and then some extra on top.
And if you think 50mp is a "small price difference", see how far ober can go with 60mp more compare to riflemen or event other elites with similar price like guard/para.
Except at max vet, Obers lose handily to Double Bren IS' in cover (green vs. green, yellow vs. yellow), and are quite challenged by LMG Paras in similar situations. Additionally, Obers are locked behind two levels of tech, equaling over 100f in investment (not to mention MP), and then a further 80muni for their LMG (without which they will lose to rifles). Commandos just require you to survive to 3 points, and nothing else.
Thre are many thing can deal with them, namely Steah detection unit like ober with stg infared, air recon or anything with wheels that are bigger than a kubel.
One of the core design principles of the game is that no doctrine unit requires another doctrine to beat it; that would make the game inherently pay-to-win, as well as imbalanced if you had a sub-optimal load-out - so IR-obers are out.
Air recon is a viable option, but costs 40-60muni and has a cooldown, so can't be used at-will. This also requires the use of specific doctrines, which again falls into the "pay to win / imbalanced" category above.
As for vehicles, only specific units have good stealth detection (i.e. above 5m). The Kubel and 222 can detect at 25m, but the Luchs for example is limited to 5m. So again, this isn't a solution, as they can easily avoid the vehicle. Outside of doctrinal units the only vehicles with long-range detection are the Kubel and IRHT for OKW, and the 222 and (I believe) 251-HT for OST.
After the last set of nerfs I rarely see Commando's in games. It is not that Commando's are bad but Assault Infantry Sections (along with vet 0 mortar) as well as Royal Engineers are significantly more common due to UKF struggling at the start of the game.
Vicker's sucks balls if you happen to be on a map without buildings and the early arrival of JLI/Panzer Grenadiers buts the pressure on UKF so waiting for Commandos is not as Common as it used to be back before Infantry Sections got nerfed into the ground.
Overall I would say they are fine but need more varied commander choices for the current meta.
On a side note the smoke on retreat would be nice to have on more units, even if it is a commander ability or unit upgrade.
That surprises me; I'm typically in the top ~200 category, and I'd say I see them used by about 30-40% of UKF players (the remainder being Royal Eng for the AVRE, and Emplacement Com when match-making decides to break). Perhaps this is a 'team games' thing?
Commander variation would be great, however I think we're far too late to see that. I'd expect maybe one or two more balance patches at most before CoH3 is out and CoH2 is EOL.
3cp 390mp elite infantry being strong, who can think of that, right ?
As I explained in the post, "3cp 390mp elite infantry being strong" isn't a surprise, it's how much more powerful they are than anything similar type of unit; it's the incredible utility that the very unique camouflage brings that makes them far too easy to use. Compared to any other air-dropped unit, they excel far more in every type engagement (barring long-range and AT) for such a small price difference.
As-is, what is their "weakness"? Most other "expensive-but-lategame" units are specialized and have clear downsides, but Commando's effectively don't, short of armor.
I've been playing a bit more recently after taking a ~6month break, and while the state of the game is mostly good, I have to say I'm a bit surprised that UKF Commando's camouflage still hasn't been tuned down a bit. While not necessarily 'OP' by itself, the synergy with the unit's other abilities seems to make this unit far too strong in my opinion.
Firstly, the Commando's camouflage stays active while moving. There are other units that have this "movement" camouflage, notably Storm troopers, JLI, Falls at Vet2 and Partisans - however, two of these units don't have CQC weapons, and Storms (which have to pay for them) don't have an explosive grenade. As a result, the commando's "Grenade from Moving Camo" combo is entirely unique, and it's on arguably the strongest CQC unit in the game.
Secondly, the Commando's camouflage stays active for incredibly long after leaving cover; in my testing, they can move about 15m out of cover before de-cloaking (and of course, they don't de-cloak if they re-enter cover). With the exception of Stormtoopers, this is again another 'outlier' in terms of unit stats. Of the units which can move while cloaked, JLI and Partisans can only move 5m and 10m respectively (Vet 2 falls are also 5m). Again, while this is comparable with Stormtroopers, they lack any form of explosive grenade, and are a 4-man squad.
Thirdly there is the matter of the "Ambush Bonus": if the unit fires from camouflage it gains increased stats, typically damage, although some also have movement bonuses. From my understanding, only three infantry units have this ability; Falls, Partisans at Vet 2 and of course, Commandos. As a result, attacking from Camo (which they can be moving in) gives Commandos incredibly high DPS, especially when combined with their grenade.
Lastly, there are veterancy bonuses. At vet 1 commandos gain their smoke grenade ability, much like other infiltration-type units, and they also gain the ability to self-heal (Falls vet 4, Storms Vet 1). At vet 2 they gain improved cooldown on their grenade (to 20s from 30s, which no other infiltrator gets), +30% weapon accuracy, and +35% movement speed when ambushing (unique). At vet 3 they deploy smoke on retreating (again, unique) in addition to -10% RA.
In my view, while individually none of these are excessive, when combined these things make Commandos far too powerful, especially once they hit vet 3 and are used in the heavily cratered maps of the mid/late game (i.e. cover/camo everywhere); there simply doesn't seem to be a downside to this unit. They can move long distances while camouflaged, even out of cover. They can throw explosive grenades from camouflage, massively reducing the opponents ability to react. They can then gap-close incredibly quickly due to their ambush movement bonus, all the while doing increased damage. They can self-heal. They have a smoke grenade. They auto-deploy a free smoke grenade on retreat (at vet 3) making them very difficult to chase. They have arguably the best CQC weapons/stats in the game, even when ignoring camo and grenades. All of this would be somewhat understandable if they were incredibly costly; but they're not. At 390mp to call in they're only 50mp more than Falls, but they don't need to pay 60muni for FG42s, cost less to reinforce, and have a 5th model.
Isn't all of this a bit much on a single unit?
My suggestion to 'balance' the unit would be to simply remove their moving camouflage. While still strong, they would no longer have the ability to freely move around enemy units without detection, meaning more player skill required to perform sudden squad wipes.
I've gone thru the transition from CoH to CoH2. YIKES. So many left cause the game had failed to deliver and it took years to become what it is today. Playing both Alpha builds, CoH3 is already better than CoH2 was in its beta/release. This time the transition will be better I am sure.
Yea. At the time of CoH2's release, I was a massive fan of CoH1 - it was by far my most-played game at the time, so I was incredibly excited for the sequel. However, after playing the betas, I didn't pick up CoH2 at release; in fact I ended up waiting about a year, when I had heard it was a fair bit better (and on sale). It's gone on to be my most played game (eclipsing even CoH1), but that transition was rough - and getting the game into it's current state took a lot of effort from the community.
CoH3's alphas, on the other hand, seem about equal to where CoH2 is now (for the most part - minus obvious "alpha" features), which means the transition will hopefully be very smooth, and it'll be easier to develop the game to be even better with the community. More importantly, it seems like they're really focusing on community feedback, which is excellent to see.
That said, I was surprised at how many people have said that they're 'worried' about an early pre alpha for 3. I remember how awful Coh2 was on release. It was so poorly optimised and clunky.
Unfortunately there's still a fair bit of uncertainty; what we've seen is a good framework, but there are areas which could either be much better (or much worse) at release. An optimist will hope for the best, a pessimist will expect the worst, and I think that's what we're seeing.
That said, my biggest concern is around match-making. CoH2's match-making is pretty rough (especially in team games), and what little we've seen so far didn't exactly inspire hope (that said, the open MP-Alpha didn't have much time to earn ranks, and I don't think they said it was enabled, either). The lack of discussion and information around match-making is also quite concerning. While I'm looking forward to playing CoH3, the prospect of playing games which match top ~200 players with ~5000 rank players isn't an enticing one; it's a poor experience for everyone. Furthermore, for me, MM quality has been what's caused me to take multiple long breaks over the years; without improvements, I can't see myself investing as much time into this one.
4- so you're saying that this still isn't the case?
5- jaeger armor removing the spotting scope on the elefant is a placebo nerf - it doesn't do anything because you can do the exact same strategy with another vehicle sitting next to the elefant. You might as well not suicide that 222 and instead use it to spot half the map for your elefant
6- this...is still in the game, don't you know? any pak-43 in both factions can shoot through smoke and walls
4. It was much, much worse.
The May 2018 update did this:
• Barrage reload increased from 0 to 1.25
• Auto-attack reload increased from 4 to 6
• Veterancy 2 auto-attack scatter bonus removed
• Veterancy 3 range bonus replaced by 20% increase to barrage accuracy; applies to all barrages except smoke
• Smoke barrage ranged changed to 85
And an even earlier patch nerfed the reload by a lot:
Reload increased from 2.4 to 4
Basically, it fired 2.5x faster, gained accuracy at vet 2 and range at vet 3, while gaining more accuracy from bulletins. It was quite the thing. Other names for it included "OST Turbo Mortar".
5. Yes, the nerf though was making the Command Tank auras no longer affect teammates.
The April 2017 update did this:
+sight/+range parts of vehicle-affecting aura no longer affect teammates
Vet 5 infantry-affecting aura no longer affects teammates
Before you could have OKW and OST auras affecting a scoped-elefant, which was ridiculous.
6. Yes, I crossed it out because I was mistaken. Not sure what I was thinking of.
This was so incredibly broken that it made the game basically unplayable in all modes until it was fixed. Unless you could somehow win before any USF player could rush a tank, you would lose. Not only that, it wasn't just the Sherman that could do it - the bug was (iirc) a buff stacking when crews re-entered their vehicle - so it worked with Shermans, Scotts, Stuarts, M18s, and I think even Calliopes as they still had crews. The Sherman was just the obvious choice as it was relatively cheap, had high HP, and both decent AT and AI stats - so when it switched to full auto, it tended to delete everything.
Other notable "OP/Broken" things:
1. UKF at launch. As others have said, everything in their kit was incredibly strong. Additionally, structures could brace indefinitely (the duration was longer than the cool-down), and they could be repaired at full speed while braced. As a result, picking the "Advanced Emplacement" doc meant having basically indestructible emplacements. As OST, you were effectively required to have a Mortar Halftrack in one of your docs, exclusively for the incendiary barrage. Team games were really, really bad at this time.
2. Soviet "Hit The Dirt" at (or around?) launch made units effectively immortal.
3. Soviet "Sniper Clown Car". At launch and for a while after, you could put a sniper in the scout car. The sniper was immune to counter-snipers while garrisoned, but could fire at full accuracy while the scout car was moving. This basically removed any downsides of having a sniper, while giving it incredible mobility. Your only hope (as OST) was a lucky mine, or rushing a 222/Pak.
4. OST "Laser Guided" mortar. At one point, the OST mortar was much more accurate than all other mortars in the game. This could be boosted further with various bulletins, making it effectively 'laser guided'. Any sort of support unit play was effectively impossible, and counter mortars didn't work as OST had counter-barrage on theirs.
5. OST "Jaeger Armor" Elefant stacking buffs. At one point, you could give the Elefant spotting scopes, which buffed it's LOS to something like 85. In team games, you could park an OKW Command Panther and OST Command P4 beside it to buff it even more. I believe at its worst, the Ele had something like 100 LOS, and massively increased armor.
6. OST PaK43 "Wall Hack". Early on it ignored collision, buildings, terrain - everything really. If the unit was in range, it could hit it. As a result, everyone build them right behind walls or other shot-blockers, creating "1-way force fields".
I'd be interested in a decent working way of calculating a good ratio of elo handicap AT vs randoms. What would be a good way to do that?
It would probably take a fair bit of work and testing; my initial suggestion of Team ELO = ((arranged team size) / (game size)) * 1.2
might work, but it also means that if your entire group is in the top ~10% of players it'll take ages to find a match, as your team ELO will end up being higher than any actual players. It also doesn't work too well with large skill ranges.
After looking at it some more I think there are two other adjustments I'd want to make. Firstly, the 'penalty' needs to increase with raw number of players on the pre-made team. While a pre-made 2v2 is better than a random 2v2, coordinating with 1 random player (and getting a good random player) is a lot easier than 3 - so I would suggest a 4-stack in 4v4 should be penalized more than a duo in 2v2. Similarly, I also don't think taking a "raw average" is entirely valid, either; 3 'ok' players and 1 'top tier' player all on voice comms will do much better than 4 slightly-better-than-ok players, even if their average ELO is the same, as the 'top tier' player will be able to coordinate and advise the lower skilled players on builds, counters, and what to expect/do. As a result I'd suggest a weighted average where we estimate a group's skill to be slightly higher than the numbers suggest.
After a bit of work, this formula might do the trick; or at least work as a starting point.
Group ELO = (((Combined ELO / Group Size) + ((Highest ELO - Lowest ELO) * 0.15)) * (1.05 + (0.10((Group Size)/4)))
That's kind of a mess and maybe someone who's a math expert can clean it up. However, what it's doing is weighting the average ELO slightly towards the better player(s), and then scaling the "group penalty" up by 5% per group-filled player slot (i.e. 10% for 2 players in a group, 12.5% for 3, 15% for 4).
In the case of "mixed" teams (i.e. 2 groups, 1 group and a random, etc.) we multiply each "Group ELO" by the percentage that the group makes up; so 0.75 for a 3-stack in a 4v4, 0.5x for 2x2-stacks, etc. This is done instead of taking a simple average, as we want to put slightly more weight on having a large pre-made team.
Let's use an example of a 4-stack: 2200 ELO, 1500, 1300, 1200.
First half of the equation:
((2200 + 1500 + 1300 + 1200) / 4) + ((2200 - 1200) * 0.15) = (6200 / 4) + 150 = 1700 ELO average
Second half of the equation:
(1.05 + (0.10(4/4)) = 1.05 + (0.10(1)) = 1.15
Group ELO = 1700 * 1.15 = 1955 Group ELO
By comparison, their average ELO is 1550 - so playing as a "4-stack" in 4v4 penalized them by 20.8%. Their best player will still be better than the opposing team by a slight amount (by 245 elo), but the remaining teammates will be facing strong opponents for their skill level (455, 655 and 755 elo higher).
Here are some other examples (and the work):
I'm sure there are better systems to use, and there might already be some out there, but this is what I can think of right now.
There's kind of 2 auto-match threads going now, but I'll add here as well: The issue isn't arranged teams, it's how they're handled. On paper, it should be possible to match any arranged team (except for the absolute best) against a random team; a 4-stack of 5,000 rank players will not beat a random collection of top 200s, for example. The issue is the handling of arranged teams is extremely naive right now.
Firstly, as Rosbone pointed out, any new combination of players is handled as a completely new team: 4x "top 10" players playing together? Totally new team with no way of knowing their skill level until they play 10 "placement" games. Then, if 1 person leaves the group, and a different "top 10" player joins, despite it being 75% of the same team, automatch says "no, this is an entirely new team. 10 placement matches please". This is pretty much the worst way of handling it. Instead, use the data we do have (maybe they played 1v1 a lot), and use that as a starting point. Even better, use an over-all "hidden ELO" score that tries to rate the players "average" skill level for all factions and all modes that they've played, if only to place them better when trying a new mode/team/etc.
Secondly, as pointed out by Rosbone and others in this thread, the match-making system can give some really terrible matches. While it does give even matches sometimes, in less popular modes, or in less popular regions/time zones, it gives some truly awful matches. Or perhaps sometimes it gives awful matches regardless of the situation. In any event, it clearly needs to be worked on, as the current system is just not very good, and it ends up giving a lot of players a poor experience.
Thirdly, even if the existing system worked flawlessly, the actual implementation of arranged teams is pretty bad. As-is, it assumes that a 4-stack is exactly equal to 4x randoms provided their ranks are the same. This is pretty flawed, as chances are that the 4-stack has voice communications, experience playing with each other in the past, and pre-made strategies/combinations that they like. Meanwhile, the 4x randoms have none of this, and might not even communicate in the same language. As a result, even if the "ranks" are the same, we need to assume that the 4-stack will be playing much, much better. Perhaps something like:
Team ELO = ((arranged team size) / (game size)) * 1.2
This would mean that a full pre-made team would match with players with 20% higher ELO than they actually have, and it would scale for a 2-player pre-made in a 4v4 game, for example (a 2-stack in 4v4 would give +10%).