To my sense all units deserve to have better HP levels. Along with higher prices. One without the other lead to what you say i agree.
It's a matter of scale, of proportions. All units should cost 1.5 or 2x more, but have 1.5 or 2x more HP. with higher curves as we go to the higher tiers and the best armored units i agree, to have this "tanky feeling" fully rendered (example, with a more expensive, more durable and more powerful stock Abrams compared to the stock Thunderbolt). or sub-curves in the same tier, for example a javelin more expensive than a Marine. If you only advantage certain types of units you break the current balance, and you also don't prevent the spams, so, at the end, you don't improve the depth of combat or the duration of the engagements. Such global tweaks could at the same time help the newcomers, because they will find a more accessible gameplay, with more progressive counter effects and combat developments, for example at early game to have more progressive interactions between rush and defense, and the good players will also benefit from that because such tweaks will also advantage a deeper micro where the combat techniques and the skill will have a more significant meaning. As well as the tech choices, production cycles and reinforcement timings.
We can clearly see that the income levels are almost always quite confortable anyways, quite early in the game course. pretty much as soon as the second ref is built btw...the oil fields particularly, refineries or harvesters don't cost much, and we have to admit that we often go for the full oil field/ref/all harvesters expense choice quite easily, without much hesitation in front of the prices...even when early attacking in the meantime...
Reinforcing a frontline or a scuffle progressively, and so obtain better and more progressive snowball effects, could really be more interesting for everyone than engagements ending in 5 seconds with weak and spammable blobs of units. That's really a strong feeling i have concerning AoA since last year and the first beta phase. the gameplay time ratio between production/base management and combat could really use such tweaks. For now they feel kinda "disconnected" or "desynched" if you want...One of the main strategic appeals of a RTS is here, precisely because the player will have the time to feel the combat developments, leading him to precise counter decisions and build choices. This aspect is not enough significant with the combat part. Here, we don't really have to make a hard choice between fast attack vs fast expand for example. The "feedback" we take from the battlefield through scouting or combat, the combat developments themselves overall, and finally the reinforcement cycles are too quick to really feel that it could prevent you from teching or expanding. Result : there are less meaningful strategic choices, Tiers/counter relations or developments, but more a simple continuity in the game course.
Sometimes the tech trees of the factions don't really help from this point of view...for example with the cartel easier developments with less buildings, or the place of some units like the Punisher or the Jackal in the game course, i also think about the Tiger (more generally the place of the Chimera Helipad) or some transports like the early availability of the powerful Superhind (compared to the very late and certainly underused Vextra for example)...The Attack choppers hit the battlefield really early imo and they're somewhat nerfed compared to the advantage and firepower they could bring a bit later (though i understand the current placement and utility of all those units)...But yeah, Eugen teams already made some good improvements and efforts on that part. More are certainly to come undoubtedly.
Where SC2, for example, has little maps and nervous, quick units able to cross the battlefield in a blink, with plenty of strong abilities to force the player to take the fights with caution, AoA has just the opposite. large maps and some pretty slow units, almost without any abilities. Though i personally like this "coherent realism", for example with slow moving infantry units...To my sense, the best suggestion seems clear : advantaging a more progressive, more "persistant" battlefield and multi-tasking all over the map, along with simultaneous base management and significant strategic choices, thanks to higher prices AND higher HP levels.
Finally, the skill on the field should make the difference way more, or at least in a more balanced manner, during the engagements. Currently, if the first contact is, or isn't in your favor, there is too often no way to return a situation, even with better skills. Currently the pure numbers relations, the brute production capacities and the asymmetrical treatment of the factions are mainly opposed on the field, the combat ends too quickly, which is leaving few space for the players skill and inventiveness.
As always, just speaking my honest mind to give some frank (and long
) feedback, nothing more... btw it was one of the core subjects we discussed about during the week, in this other thread(and other ones) :viewtopic.php?f=192&t=56606&start=100