Steel Division sales...

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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Random » Fri 16 Jun 2017 14:42

Sleksa wrote:I see vast problems with the aa/air interaction with the game in a situation where only a unit type (plane) counters the same unit type (plane). Personally I consider this incredibly nonrealistic/historical/whatever as well, and anyone who suggested it as an idea to be incompetent both as a gameplay designer and a history reader.

And by countering I mean spending less resources on the unit than the price of a unit it's trying to counter. It certainly is within the realm of possibility to deter a plane from unloading it's weapons, but in general (and depending on chosen division), one has to pay upwards to 2-8x the cost of the plane one is trying to stop to get a sufficient treshhold of moral damage, like buying 2x flak88 or a flak 88 + 1-3 different aa guns easily coming up to a 300+ total cost. Alternatively with some divisions if you choose the wrong aa types, you can pay that 8x cost and still not be able to stop the plane from unloading, let alone trying to kill it. In comparison fighters generally come at same price as the planes they're trying to kill, which makes the airplay incredibly lopsided if one side manages to get the enemy's fighters, removing any realistic chance of downing enemy aircraft from that point on. Multirole aa is also somewhat of a question mark. Some of the remotely viable aa units certainly work as multirole, while some of them are extremely hard to use as such and are way too costly to be risked in other uses.

In regards to artillery and it's current state in the game, it's another problem that I'm fairly sure any competent person can see as problematic in it's current iteration. My biggest gripe however remains with the offmap artillery, especially any lack of visual/other type of broadcast that it's being used. More or less every other rts game in existance has telepgraphed these things, such as flares in company of heroes, visual pre-effects in dawn of war, red alert circles in starcraft and so on. I see no reason why this mechanic couldnt've been added.


I can accept that definition of counter.

What is your problem if unittype A only gets countered by either unittype A or mix of unittype A+B(assuming it is priced in a way that is balanced)?

There are very few AA-units which are not multiroles I consider worth bringing. I think a lot of AA units need buffs, especially towed ones, but I do not see a problem with the mechanics in itself.

About the offmap, it is obv a designchoice to have no warning. I do not see a problem with that mechanic either, as long as it is priced reasonably, your thoughts?


Sleksa wrote:
Similiar thing happened with the SD's "realistic panic ai" that makes units reverse at half panic meter. This in itself could maybe be acceptable, but when there's an option to overtake the ai by force targeting / attack moving again, it only creates unnecessary need for micro and focus/attention.


Agreed, this is very annoying and rewards high micro unnecessarily.

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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby nuke92 » Fri 16 Jun 2017 14:56

High caliber offmap arty makes it easier to balance infantry and airborne divisions in phase B and C, whether people like it or not.
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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Saavedra » Fri 16 Jun 2017 15:12

I have found that artillery bothersome, but I can´t remember losing a game to it...

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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Razzmann » Fri 16 Jun 2017 17:17

Grosnours wrote:
Razzmann wrote:Which is surprising to me, considering that outside of balance, the game feels very polished to me. And it is not like any of the Wargames have been stellar in terms of balance at release, no?

I'm not sure it's a solely question of balance.

Well that's what I meant. The balance does not seem worse than wargame's balance at their release, so it can't be that.

I don't buy the fatigue argument. Compared to the previous 2 titles, Red Dragon had a slower loss of playerbase, even after the arrival of the Scandinavia DLC, people dropped the game slower compared to Steel Division (2months after the DLC, RD still had a higher peak than SD's current 24hour peak).

All according to SteamDB.

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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Saavedra » Fri 16 Jun 2017 21:40

I suspect it may have something to do with the perceived imbalance between German heavy tanks and... everything else. I think most people can´t be bothered with thinking around asymmetrical balance.

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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Sleksa » Fri 16 Jun 2017 21:51

Random wrote:
Sleksa wrote:I see vast problems with the aa/air interaction with the game in a situation where only a unit type (plane) counters the same unit type (plane). Personally I consider this incredibly nonrealistic/historical/whatever as well, and anyone who suggested it as an idea to be incompetent both as a gameplay designer and a history reader.

And by countering I mean spending less resources on the unit than the price of a unit it's trying to counter. It certainly is within the realm of possibility to deter a plane from unloading it's weapons, but in general (and depending on chosen division), one has to pay upwards to 2-8x the cost of the plane one is trying to stop to get a sufficient treshhold of moral damage, like buying 2x flak88 or a flak 88 + 1-3 different aa guns easily coming up to a 300+ total cost. Alternatively with some divisions if you choose the wrong aa types, you can pay that 8x cost and still not be able to stop the plane from unloading, let alone trying to kill it. In comparison fighters generally come at same price as the planes they're trying to kill, which makes the airplay incredibly lopsided if one side manages to get the enemy's fighters, removing any realistic chance of downing enemy aircraft from that point on. Multirole aa is also somewhat of a question mark. Some of the remotely viable aa units certainly work as multirole, while some of them are extremely hard to use as such and are way too costly to be risked in other uses.

In regards to artillery and it's current state in the game, it's another problem that I'm fairly sure any competent person can see as problematic in it's current iteration. My biggest gripe however remains with the offmap artillery, especially any lack of visual/other type of broadcast that it's being used. More or less every other rts game in existance has telepgraphed these things, such as flares in company of heroes, visual pre-effects in dawn of war, red alert circles in starcraft and so on. I see no reason why this mechanic couldnt've been added.


I can accept that definition of counter.

What is your problem if unittype A only gets countered by either unittype A or mix of unittype A+B(assuming it is priced in a way that is balanced)?

There are very few AA-units which are not multiroles I consider worth bringing. I think a lot of AA units need buffs, especially towed ones, but I do not see a problem with the mechanics in itself.

About the offmap, it is obv a designchoice to have no warning. I do not see a problem with that mechanic either, as long as it is priced reasonably, your thoughts?


Sleksa wrote:
Similiar thing happened with the SD's "realistic panic ai" that makes units reverse at half panic meter. This in itself could maybe be acceptable, but when there's an option to overtake the ai by force targeting / attack moving again, it only creates unnecessary need for micro and focus/attention.


Agreed, this is very annoying and rewards high micro unnecessarily.


The problem with planes only being countered by other planes creates a situation where there's no way of realistically fighting against, or deterring them if you lose the air game. Theoretically you can spend the next several minutes dumping your income into the few aa pieces that might possibly have a chance to planes before they unload. However even then, a couple of planes with good micro can go and bomb these aa pieces with no real risk whatsoever. This is ofcourse also dependant on whether you happen to be lucky enough to be using a division that has them.

This type of a "unit beats same unit" system has never been healthy in any other rts game, and it won't be healthy in here as long as it's a core gameplay design choice. Eugen's history is filled with examples that border this, and they've never been healthy. One great example is centurions in ALB, which had maybe one or two theoretical counters (eg being able to kill more than their cost of centurions when used and before running out of ammo) to them, but no practical ones. This was later on repeated with some other things like ALB's gazelles where one more or less was forced to use them, or give the enemy a massive advantage.

As far as offmaps go, the reasonable pricing is also a question mark. Currently the bar to use them is extremely low since more or less wiping a single crewed weapon or 1-2 squads of infantry can be cost-effective, and I'm not sure if it'd help even if they became literally twice as expensive as they'd still be worth being dropped on top of singular, later phase at guns. I'm sure some people disagree, but I also consider this to be be a unit that can't really be countered by gameplay. In theory you could avoid all the offmaps by having every one of your units moving around 24/7, but that's not really a practical solution. In contrast, the normal artillery can be avoided because they don't have nearly the same level of lethality / burst damage and are telegraphed across the screen.

Personally I'd almost even consider making the offmap artillery much less lethal/burst damaging, but increase the time that the area is under fire dramatically. This would still retain the likely original gameplay idea of having some sort of answer against heavily fortified places like town grids and such by supressing/possibly killing them them over a long time if they choose to stay in the area, without having the current problems that they come with.
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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby thenosh » Fri 16 Jun 2017 22:15

Hidden Gunman wrote:
thenosh wrote:Steel Division is a thing for itself. I played it in beta but it simply couldn't stick to it. I felt like constantly throwing massive amounts of units to the frontline and at some point the match was over. When the full game released it came to the point where I didn't touch it anymore, and prefered to go for a couple of rounds in Red Dragon. SD sure is better than AoA (I told you during the beta phase that this won't turn out good!!), but can't grab me either. I'll just sit and wait for another wargame.

That happens in betas, and in internal beta testing as well...burnout is a fact.


I'm aware of that, however AoA and SD didn't even grab me during beta test. I had to force myself to play multiple games and give it another and another try.
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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Hidden Gunman » Sat 17 Jun 2017 00:10

Saavedra wrote:I suspect it may have something to do with the perceived imbalance between German heavy tanks and... everything else. I think most people can´t be bothered with thinking around asymmetrical balance.


I'm not so sure that the 'tiger fright' is actually correct, the greater issues among those sticking around are more the other stuff, such as the overly heavy off-board arty, and the meta balance for some of the infantry divisions. Sure, the armour thing is a big issue in 10v10, where a swarm of heavy armour destroys any balance in phase C (although that does also apply to a lesser degree in the other game modes). Availability and phasing does need to be looked at, though. I'll also mention the insane number of nebelwerfers some decks get right from the start, too.
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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Saavedra » Sat 17 Jun 2017 11:54

Hidden Gunman wrote:
Saavedra wrote:I suspect it may have something to do with the perceived imbalance between German heavy tanks and... everything else. I think most people can´t be bothered with thinking around asymmetrical balance.


I'm not so sure that the 'tiger fright' is actually correct, the greater issues among those sticking around are more the other stuff, such as the overly heavy off-board arty, and the meta balance for some of the infantry divisions. Sure, the armour thing is a big issue in 10v10, where a swarm of heavy armour destroys any balance in phase C (although that does also apply to a lesser degree in the other game modes). Availability and phasing does need to be looked at, though. I'll also mention the insane number of nebelwerfers some decks get right from the start, too.


If the average SD player was worried about the balance in general terms such as you indicate, then sure. I could believe they are worried about the off-map arty and the balance of infantry divisions.

However, I suspect the average SD player is very much like the average Wargame player: he mostly plays 10v10s and, for some strange reason I cannot even begin to fathom, he prefers Destruction to Conquest mode. He gravitates toward the same tactics you would see in Wargame: take the most powerful units you can possibly take and throw them at the enemy. This means German heavy tanks, 88mms, AT planes and heavy artillery/rocket artillery. Refine this a bit (give the AT planes lots of protection and don´t rush the tanks too far ahead) and you will get the average German player.

The Allies do not have anything similar to that. Unfortunately, due to realism, these units are quite hard to counter as an Allied player due to the same reason you could not play North Korea against the US and expect to win: number is not a quality if the numbers do not match the quality. Factions oriented toward zerg rush do not work if they are not cheap enough. Two Shermans cannot possibly defeat a King Tiger despite costing almost the same (just 60 point less, but adding another Sherman would take you 100 points over the KT).

It is no coincidence that the German side generally fills up far faster than the Allied side. And I think this really says all you need to say about the balance in the game... or, at least, the perceived balance. The Allies still have tools to fight back, even if not on the same level and requiring more skill. Also, you have to factor in that many SD players probably came from Wargame. What does that mean? Well, the Soviets and the US tended to have equivalent units in that game, but not so much here. What would you expect a good percentage of Wargame players to do when they realize this? I expect them to go back to Wargame.

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Re: Steel Division sales...

Postby Random » Sat 17 Jun 2017 13:15

Sleksa wrote:
The problem with planes only being countered by other planes creates a situation where there's no way of realistically fighting against, or deterring them if you lose the air game. Theoretically you can spend the next several minutes dumping your income into the few aa pieces that might possibly have a chance to planes before they unload. However even then, a couple of planes with good micro can go and bomb these aa pieces with no real risk whatsoever. This is ofcourse also dependant on whether you happen to be lucky enough to be using a division that has them.

This type of a "unit beats same unit" system has never been healthy in any other rts game, and it won't be healthy in here as long as it's a core gameplay design choice. Eugen's history is filled with examples that border this, and they've never been healthy. One great example is centurions in ALB, which had maybe one or two theoretical counters (eg being able to kill more than their cost of centurions when used and before running out of ammo) to them, but no practical ones. This was later on repeated with some other things like ALB's gazelles where one more or less was forced to use them, or give the enemy a massive advantage.

As far as offmaps go, the reasonable pricing is also a question mark. Currently the bar to use them is extremely low since more or less wiping a single crewed weapon or 1-2 squads of infantry can be cost-effective, and I'm not sure if it'd help even if they became literally twice as expensive as they'd still be worth being dropped on top of singular, later phase at guns. I'm sure some people disagree, but I also consider this to be be a unit that can't really be countered by gameplay. In theory you could avoid all the offmaps by having every one of your units moving around 24/7, but that's not really a practical solution. In contrast, the normal artillery can be avoided because they don't have nearly the same level of lethality / burst damage and are telegraphed across the screen.

Personally I'd almost even consider making the offmap artillery much less lethal/burst damaging, but increase the time that the area is under fire dramatically. This would still retain the likely original gameplay idea of having some sort of answer against heavily fortified places like town grids and such by supressing/possibly killing them them over a long time if they choose to stay in the area, without having the current problems that they come with.


Planes may only be able to be killed by planes, but if you buy AA and your opponent does not you have a massive advantage in the airwar, AA+ASF beat other planes reliably. Buying AA after you lost your ASF is not going to get you anything.

Otoh I would be fine with giving some AA more chance to kill, obv together with appropriate buffs to plane cost.

I still do not know if you have a problem with the balance or the design of the offmap. First about the price, some are too cheap, the 300mm+ ones, whereas the small ones are too expensive. 300 points certainly is too expensive to 300mm+. I have not seen later phase AT guns in 1v1/2v2. I have seen 88mm AA, but that is it. Movement speed does is not enough to avoid offmap.

Your last suggestion would mean it can be used to put moraledamage on an avenue of attack a lot more effective then now, making it stronger in defense while weaker in offense. It should be nerfed by price or aimtime if anything.

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