Yesterday, 10:17 AMSander93
The SU-85 does have slightly better DPM (TTK vs Panther is ~28s from the first shot, disregarding accuracy and penetrations) but it has the obvious weakness of not having a turret against a diving Panther or other vehicles.
For what it's worth I think the Firefly is balanced (hits hard but slow reload and mediocre mobility), the SU-85 is mostly balanced (although I think the selfspotting is bad because it goes against the combined arms principle of the game, even if it has a significant drawback) except for its very high penetration, and the Jackson is slightly overperforming on purpose because it's the only real reliable late game AT for USF.
Obviously the SU-85's and Jackson's situation isn't ideal but tinkering with them will be very complex and have significant ripple effects, and that's not really something we want to touch at this point.
I'm going to be honest; this isn't the response I was expecting. I'm aware that the problem is complicated, but it's the balance teams responsibility to work through complexity, not step away. Furthermore, "Over-performing on purpose" has never been an acceptable answer - it's at best a temporary solution, but it should never be the solution.
For the sake of discussion, let's ignore the FF, since it's rarely brought up in these discussions: it's generally M36/Su85/Panther. Also, I agree that the FF is pretty much balanced, for the reasons you listed.
Regarding the SU85, you've said that its self-spotting is bad game design, and that its high pen (especially with vet) is also unbalanced; so why aren't these things being addressed? I concede that changing unit base stats can be complicated, but I don't see how nerfing the SU85's Vet 2 "+30% penetration" and/or its vet 3 "+20% reload speed" would cause issues.
At vet 0, the SU85's 220 far pen (60 range) gives it an 85% chance to pen panthers, and once it hits vet 2, it'll pen a Panther 100% of the time. Then, once it hits vet 3, its reload time drops to 4.53 sec.
If we use the Panther to compare, it only gains a +10% armor bonus at vet 2. This means that once the SU85 hits vet 2, the Panther's armor becomes irrelevant (260 -> 286). At both vet 0 and vet 3, the SU85 will pen it 100% of the time. Ideally, the increase in armor should match the increase in pen, so that losing a unit becomes impactful, rather than the current state, where it's a "race to vet". Finally, if we assume a pair of vet 3 SU85s (this seems common), that means a TTK vs. a vet 3 panther is 9.06 seconds - which is far, far too fast.
Dropping the SU85's vet 2 pen bonus to +10% would remedy this problem, as would reducing the Vet 3 reload bonus (the JP4's vet 4 bonus is +15%).
As for the M36, as you pointed out, its USF's only source of late-game AT. Why not change this? It's been suggested several times (there are other threads, but I'm linking my own) that giving USF a "medium TD" (for example, a massively adjusted non-doc M10) would fix several problems at once:
- it would allow the M36 to specialize into an "anti-heavy" role
- it would give USF access to an early TD (similar to the STUG)
- it would give mediums more room to breath.
- it would fix the M36's "scaling" issue, where it ends up countering everything exceptionally well
Yesterday, 14:08 PMSander93
ATGs are too vulnerable in 3v3s and 4v4s late game because of an abundance of rocket and howitzer artillery. Bazookas barely scratch the paint of Panthers and heavies (except doctrinal Rangers). These are not reliable options to fight the heavier Axis armor, some of which are stock.
As ShadowLinkx37 asked; then why is arty being buffed this patch (pop from 15 to 13)? If ATGs are too vulnerable, resulting in the constant TD vs TD spam we've seen (especially in team-games), why aren't ATGs being made more viable in late-game (likely by nerfing arty)?
Yesterday, 16:42 PMDerbyHat
Howitzers might be cancerous, but an equal or higher pop requirement compared to the Calliope, Priest and Sexton (15, 15, 14 respectively) is hard to justify for a unit that's quite easily countered with the right doctrine.
Then those units should have their pop increased instead.
Yesterday, 10:21 AMKatitof
As I have said, there comes a time, where "balance" problem becomes "L2P" problem and 60range TDs are the latter now.
Sander's has literally just said that they're over performing.
SU-85 is mostly balanced (although I think the selfspotting is bad [...]) except for its very high penetration, and the Jackson is slightly overperforming
I'm not sure how you construe this as "it's balanced, L2P". It's more "it's a bit OP, but very, very complicated to change", which isn't even close to similar.