This thread summarizes my recommendations to make COH2 a more competitive and fun game by adjusting both factions to level the playing field and improve the meta and fun of certain abilities.
Both factions require "nerfs" and "buffs" to certain aspects, that taken out of context might seem the wrong approach. I ask you to imagine the big picture with all the changes in place.
My philosophy is that individual units are rarely broken but often lack a specific purpose. Therefore I advocate a minimalist approach to unit stats and focus more on the role they should play for their cost and abilities.
This thread builds on a number of historical discussions on the coh2.org forums and the brainstorming in this thread in particular:
I know Relic has their own design for the meta in upcoming patches, but I fear they worry too much about individual unit stats and any improvements won't go far enough to revamp the meta. They don't have a very transparent future game design process so it is impossible to say where they want things to go.
Unfortunately I will once again be deploying to Afghanistan in just a few days for the better part of a year, and will be taking my leave from the COH2 community during that time. If you agree with the my premise and like the changes I propose, I would ask you to continue to support this thread and raise awareness so that hopefully Relic will see and consider the recommendations. I wish you guys good luck and hope the community has grown even stronger by the time I come back
1a. No one enjoys playing against gimmicky strategies that abuse a single unit, such as ostruppen, t70s, or assault grens in 1v1s/2v2s.
1b. Players dont enjoy the quick tech to end-game tank spam (panthers, elefants, su85s) and abilities in 3v3s/4v4s.
2. Soviet players want more flexibility in early game play with less reliance on both conscript spam and guards for AT. Soviet T1 needs to be
improved and viable.
3a. The Soviet faction needs a rebalance of how it utilizes munitions and when. At the current time ostheer is munition hungry and is penalized far
more significantly for holding a smaller area of the map--which is what the faction often does vs soviet aggression.
3b. The soviet player needs more choice in how to spend his munitions in useful ways, both to add utility to his units and equalize the opportunity
cost of munitions between the factions. The phenomenon of soviet munition 'fun money' that turns into endless strafing runs, mines, or incendiary strikes by mid game needs to go.
4. Soviet T4 currently acts like an alternative t3 whose dominant unit, the su85, pre-empts both ostheer t3 and t4.
5a. Aside from ostruppen and assault gren doctrines, german commanders are chosen for a single call-in unit or ability mid game. There is almost no synergy between non-doctrinal builds and german commanders. This is partially a result of Relic monetizing commanders as DLC where abilities are re-packaged onto new doctrines to be sold and quantity matters more than quality.
5b. In the end both factions will only choose from a handful of optimal commanders anyway making bloat redundant. Ex. Ostruppen sells better than
fortified armor because it unlocks a drastically different build with synergy to the non-doctrinal units.
6. Certain units appear at points in the game where there are weak counters, including German FHT and soviet t70s. Arguably AGs too.
7. Weapon range is completely overbearing in coh2. The soviet faction has a near monopoly on weapon range at all stages of the game if/until an elefant appears. Anti infantry, anti tank, and indirect fire with superior range can all be used simultaneously every game.
8a. Soviet players don't like that german units dominate in one on one engagements (p4 vs t34, LMG Gren vs conscripts) with passive stats.
8b. German players don't like that soviet units dominate with active abilities such as 120mm precision strike, ram, molotovs, demo charge.
8c. A new comprimise has to be found that retains the uniqueness of the factions but reduces the disparity between them.
9. Neutral buildings in t0 are the focus of early engagements that favor soviets (t0 conscripts, molotovs). This should not be the case.
10. Some maps (looking at you VCOH imports) have a distinctly weaker starting position that unfairly penalizes a player from the start.
Larger meta changes will be listed at the bottom after the smaller changes that will have an immediate impact on fun in the game and could be implemented immediately.
- Remove the building touching the east fuel point capture zone on Semois / Semois Winter
- Remove the isolated building near the northwestern cutoff on Minsk Pocket adjacent to the base sector
- Move the building touching the northwestern fuel point on Road to Kharkhov away from the capture zone
- Move the buildings adjacent to the high munition points on moscow outskirts summer farther from the capture zone
- Open the wooden fenceline on the northern fuel point on Winter Kholdny Ferma to grant equal access to the western player to fuel, and allow access to the westernmost VP for the eastern starting location. This brings the map in line with its summer variant.
- At a minimum the northern langres cutoff needs to be moved east north of the munition point to make it similarly defensible to the southern map cutoff. I recommend a comprehensive redesign of the eastern territories as outlined in this thread: http://www.coh2.org/topic/7628/langres-mark-v2-proposal
Maps Summary: The reasoning behind the above changes is to encourage the t0 early game fights to be more dynamic without encouraging every game to be a building rush to the fuel cutoff, often won by the soviet with t0 conscript construction and molotovs. Regardless it is 100% unfair that one side of a map has a building touching a key capture zone while the other doesnt.
- Resources in team games are now split evenly between players
- Right click the reinforce icon for a squad at your HQ to automatically reinforce to maxmimum squad members until full. Saves clicking. Must be toggled after each retreat for each squad
Hold Fire toggle
- Add a hold-fire option to all tanks, support weapons, and indirect fire weapons regardless of camo upgrades
Minimap Range Radius
- Add the visible range for the PAK43 on the minimap during construction
- Significantly reduce the crit chance for flame weapons or remove it entirely. The crit animations can be used when someone dies normally to a flame weapon for aesthetic reasons (aka. it looks cool)
- Small decrease in initial flame damage but increase the damage over time. Im making up example numbers here but 10 damage initial, 5 the next second, 10 the next second, 15 the next second, and so on. You are penalized for keeping a unit in flames but have time to react. This concurs with the recent changes to the Kv-8 but it needs to apply universally to flamethrowers, FHT, and molotovs.
- Molotovs and flame weapons will never kill the gunner of a weapon team (ex. mg42, maxim) first resulting in all other team members dying one by one while trying to pick up the gun during a retreat. That defeats the purpose of this change and is painful to watch.
- Flames do not ignore defensive bonuses on a retreating unit
- Remove the chance of causing heavy engine damage on medium or heavy tanks. Heavy and Medium tanks can still suffer engine damage
- Light vehicles can still suffer heavy or normal engine damage
- Hitting rear armor increases the chance of heavy engine critical, hitting the front armor decreases it
- Speed up the panzerfaust animation so it is the same as the AT Nade windup if it isnt already
Significant change in the functionality of this ability:
- A successful ram will result in the crew shocked modifier applied to both vehicles for a set time. Neither vehicle will ever become immobilized or suffer main gun damage.
- The t-34 will recover from the shocked modifier 50% faster than a light vehicle (ex. scoutcar), 25% faster than a medium tank (ex. panzer4), and 25% slower than a heavy tank (tiger)
- A ram will do moderate damage to a light vehicle, minor damage to a medium tank, and no damage to a heavy tank.
- A ram will do no damage to the t34 while ramming a light vehicle, minor damage to a t-34 while ramming a medium, and moderate damage while ramming a heavy tank.
- A ram will create engine damage on a light vehicle, the possibility of engine damage on a medium, and no engine damage on a heavy.
- A ram will create no engine damage to the t-34 on a light vehicle, small chance of engine damage on a medium, and a larger chance of engine damage on a heavy tank
Soviet Urban Defense Forward HQ
- Halve the aura bonuses to adjacent units. 100% stat increase is unprecedented compared to other unit auras in the rest of COH2
- Will cause engine damage or heavy engine damage to all vehicles. The larger the vehicle, the less the chance of heavy engine damage (so a t-34 has a higher chance of being disabled than an IS2 or Su-85)
- Soviet mines will always generate engine criticals on light german vehicles (halftacks, scout cars, opels). Light german vehicles will retain a high chance of heavy engine damage. They will never cause heavy engine damage on heavy tanks, and have a small chance for heavy engine damage on medium tanks (p4s)
Trip Wire Flares
- Will no longer cause casualties but will highlight enemy movement with a minimap ping and a shorter lived, smaller visibility radius version of the soviet sniper vet1 flare
- Decrease the volume of the flare launch sound effect
- Remove the frontal range view ability from the Elefant and SU-85. Spotters are required to fire at maximum rage now
Hit the Dirt (HTD)
- Sets the unit to capture territory at half speed while this ability is active
- HTD will no longer prevent suppression or pinning WHILE UNDER 10 Meters
. It functions normally at ranges where weapons do not normally ignore the HTD cover bonuses
- Add an increasing accuracy buff against vehicles based on movement speed. This should be possible as blitzkrieg supposedly makes german tanks harder to hit, which implies accuracy malus against it
- 125% accuracy vs light engine damage, 150% vs medium engine damage, 175% vs heavy engine damaged, 200% accuracy modifier vs immobilized tanks
Programming Summary: Flame weapons will no longer be the unpredictable RNG beasts they currently are. Molotovs, KV-8s, Flamethrowers, and FHT will have consistent results that penalizes players for staying in the danger zone instead of frontloading all the damage making reaction impossible. Soviet mines are designed to counter german light t2 vehicles while german mines counter soviet t3 and t4 vehicles. AT Nade/Faust adjustments should keep them viable early game while reducing their impact late game vs heavies such as kv-8s charging forward. Conscripts will no longer be able to run to a cutoff, HTD, and de-cap at full speed while taking negligible damage as effectively as before. I suggest this will encourage smarter gameplay than just rushing straight at an mg42 or a kill zone. Ramming now requires critical thinking of when to use, but does not take the t-34 out of the fight instantly...or the german tank!
- Increase cost to 40 munitions
- Reduce the size of the mine field to half its current size
- Reduce cost to 60 munitions and half construction time
- Remove warning signs
- German pioneers are now able to place demolition charges for 90 munitions
- Both SU and GER demo charges take 50% longer to emplace
- Minesweeper upgrades will detect demo charges at a distance 20% farther than their explosive kill zone. An audible warning will play with a
minimap ping. The demo charge will now be visible to all players. Demo charges will have to be touched to be disabled by pioneers so it is far
safer to simply blow one up with your own explosives from a safe distance (rifle nade, mortars, zis barrage, etc.)
- Fix the bugged soviet audible warning about incoming grenades coming after it hits
- Increase the damage done to infantry INSIDE buildings, not the building itself which is an RNG issue and should be fixed
- Damage bonus against units in building/garrison cover
- Decrease cost to 45 munitions
Vehicle Smoke (Germans)
- Increase ability cost to 25 munitions
- Increase ability cost to 20 munitions.
- Decrease upgrade cost to 100mp, 20 fuel
- Decrease upgrade cost to 100mp, 20 fuel
Soviet Field Infirmary (HQ) Upgrade
- Decrease manpower cost to 200mp
- Add a 50 munition cost
- Removed from 120mm mortar, retained on 82mm soviet mortar, replaces counter battery on german 81mm mortar
(NOTICE: These unit changes are in conjunction with the tier/tech changes in the next section!)
Soviet Tech Tree and Meta
(NOTICE: Read the summary at the end of this section!)
Move M5 Halftrack to T2 Building
Add T/34-85 to T4 Building
Requirements and Costs
T3 requires T1 or T2
T4 requires T3
Tier 1 Building:
Reduce build time by half
Tier 4 Building:
Reduce cost to 200 / 50 fuel.
- PPSH are non doctrinal available at t2 or higher, 2 for 40mun . The PPSH doctrinal cdr would reduce costs 20 mun each (as a stopgap)
- Reduce MP cost to 340
- Add 1x 60 munition Bazooka upgrade available at t2 or higher
- Only one bazooka or flamethrower may be bought for a squad - you choose anti-inf or anti-vehicle for a squad
- Can build sandbags like conscripts
- Add a tear-down time of 1 second to see if this fixes maxim-merry-go-rounds. It has none at the moment.
- Reduce movement and retreat speed slightly
- Increase reinforcement cost to 180 to reduce spam
- Replace Precision Strike vet ability with long range infantry tracking ability
- Increase auto-barrage scatter to diminish the occurence of random squad kills. Normal activated barrages are unaffected
- Decrease retreat movement speed
- Require minimum 2 personnel to man the mortar (last man standing runs for it like all other mortars)
- Decrease accuracy while moving, aka. running down retreating squads is far too accurate
- Increase mp cost by 40 to 200
- Increase cost by 10 fuel to 65
- Increase cost to 380 / 130
- Decrease max unit speed by 20%. This thing is fast enough to run down just about anything, and as a "heavy tank". Changes to panzer fausts should enable this unit to breakthrough better but other units will be needed to exploit the spearhead.
Soviet Summary: The net effect of these changes is intended to give the soviet player more options in the early game while delaying t4. A T1 building shouldnt take much longer than a german t1 building to make, allowing cheaper penals (340mp) to start supplementing forces from the get go. They would synch with the M3 (flamer or bazooka). AT nades and molotovs are cheaper to research as well. Soviet T4 as it stands now is a same-cost alternative for T3, which defeats the purpose of the tiering system. As T4 now requires T3 and certain key units have had their fuel costs increased, and I would anticipate m3s to find greater use with bazooka penals or an early m5 quad halftrack, I reduced the cost (but not build time!) of adding on a t4 building. I want to strike a balance between powerful SU-85s keeping their role as devastating against armor, but remove their arrival before or concurrent with the very first german t3 tank. There is no reason for them to be quite as cheap as they are, however. Numbers can be tweaked to slow this further as necessary. Non-doctrinal T-34/85s would make its t4 debut as an su-85 alternative. A t-70 rush is still viable because an extra 10 fuel shouldnt make a huge difference when building one, but building 3+ at +10 fuel each to gives the german player more time to develop hard counters to such spam.
- LMGs now require T2 building.
- Commanders have G43 switched to 1CP. Although a G43 could conceivably come in the game earlier (munition pending), you would be foregoing things like vehicle smoke or elefants with that commander
- Increased suppression to an individual unit as it gets closer to the barrel of the gun. Running a squad straight up the center should lead to a
quick pin while skirting the sides or keep distance will act as it does now. Bear in mind the HTD change as well
- Decreased setup time while in a building. Ever since the last patch it takes positively ages for an mg42 to actually start firing at an approaching unit
- Require 1CP
- Reduce cost to 280mp
- Remove the pgren model with a 5th assault grenadier with the same stats as the rest
- Decrease windup time on assault grenade ability
- Assault grenade ability decreases in cost with the number of surviving members in a squad (half strength squads are throwing less grenades for
the same price)
- Panzerfaust is now a vet 1 ability, remove first aid
- Shrecks may be bought 1 at a time, up to 2 per squad
- Replaces counter battery with precision strike
- Increase hp, slightly increase armor
- Decrease cost to 340 MP (smaller crew than ZIS, no indirect fire)
- Increase range by 25%
- Decrease upgrade cost to 60 munitions
- Increase fuel cost by 5 to 30
STUG 3 (the Assault gren doctrine one)
- AOE splash damage increase
- Damage increase
- Small Rotation speed increase
- Decreased move speed
- Increased barrage Range
- Decreased move speed
- Increased barrage range
German Vehicle MG Upgrades (P4, Stug, Tiger, Panther, Brummbaar)
- MG cost reduced from 30 to 25 munitions
German Summary: Using german teching as the benchmark to time soviet tiers means I have left it pretty much the same. My main focus was to create vulnerabilities to exploit in ostruppen and AG spam while making some minor tweaks.
A whole new can of worms to be figured out later, but basically my thoughts are the above changes can be made within the existing commander system. My ideal would be decrease the number of commanders, since most are fluff anyway, and really put some thought into what abilities and gameplay styles each one is meant to unlock upon choosing it. I'd like to see the german commanders seriously re-evaluated to offer some synergy with non-doctrinal units instead of just introducing new FOTM strats (ostruppen).
Without access to actually play testing these changes its all theory crating, so dont get hung up on the exact numbers. The desired end goal is to correct pressing issues like flame crits and munition use. I hope these changes will be subtle enough that units like SU-85s and Elefants are managed without actually touching the hard stats of the unit itself.
Thanks for your time