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Flanking Bonuses

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Now that we understand the differences between the old and new system, we can adjust the flanking bonuses to get the right fit.

    To recap: Flanking promotions used to be a percentage increase to the base flanking bonus. So 25% flanking bonus (from shock I) on a 15% base flank = 3.75% more bonus. In the new system, its simply a static bonus added like any other combat modifier.

    Right now I am in the "ain't broke, don't fix it" camp. For a long time, we have had good consensus that shock and drill promotion lines were well balanced. Further, there has been very few if any complaints about the strength of flanking in previous versions.

    So my initial recommendation is to set the values to replicate the original system as close as possible.

    My suggested values (this is with shock having +25% flanking bonus in the old system which I believe was correct. If not someone please correct me).

    1) Base Flanking: +15%
    2) Shock: +3.75% (I'd be ok changing it to 4% if we need the simplicity).
    3) Any old +50% flanking promotion: +7.5%
    4) Any old +100% flanking promotion: +15%
     
  2. YukiN

    YukiN Chieftain

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    I would argue the flanking bonuses needs to be more than what you have here to be close to the old system, maybe 1.5 times. The average flanking multiplier is by definition more than 1.

    To elaborate, assume you have a 100% bonus promotion. That promotion used to give 15%, 30%, 45% based on how much you outnumber the enemy. A fixed 15% from flanking does not compare well to what we had before.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Now I'm going to play devil's advocate for a moment. With the numbers I quoted, shock will be the same if the attacker (or defender) is the only one with flanking. However, if both sides get some flanking, than shock is actually weaker than it was before. Lets take a look at an example.


    Imagine the attacker has 2 flanking units (with Shock I), and the defender has 2 flanking units (no Shock).

    In the old system, the attacker would get a +37.5% CS bonus, and the defender would get a +30% bonus. Overall, a slight advantage to the attacker, and the shock bonus is still in effect.

    In the new system, flanking would be cancelled. This means that the attacker's shock bonus never kicks in.

    This "nerfing" would occur in any situation where both attacker and defender don't have the exact same amount of "promotion based flanking bonus".


    So with that consideration, while the base flanking number makes sense, perhaps the promotion values should get a slight increase.
     
  4. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    To avoid us spiraling into a duel of hypotheticals, later today I will be going through and making a bunch of scenarios using In Game Editor with old version, then duplicated with new version so we can compare apples to apples. Once we have actual, verifiable, certain game values, we can then adjust things as needed if we think things are still out of balance.

    How does this sound?
     
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  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I love it!
     
  6. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    3,3,4 for a total 10% (vs old 10.25%) seems right. However...
    Maybe 4,4,4 or even 5,5,5 is fine?
     
  7. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    We (at least some of us) already knew that flanking bonuses from Shock were crap, but it was thematic, it put us in the role of a battlefield unit, so advanced promotions for shock (March) reflected this.
    Raising shock flanking promotion values it's fine to me. Now that flanking is more difficult to get, higher values seem fair. I'd try an increase of 5%CS each shock promotion, to begin with.
     
  8. JohanBest

    JohanBest Chieftain

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    Actual values are there to see in the code and xml. Up to you if you want to do it that way, but I can tell you the numbers as per code/data files (in particular promotionchanges.xml are;

    Old;
    15% base per flank
    Shock promotions 25% each (25% of the final value of base flank x number of flanks)
    Eg. 3v1 Unit with Shock iii gets 15x2 x 1.75 = 52.5% bonus to CS (rounded down)

    New
    5% base per flank
    Shock promos 3% each (3% static value is added to base and multiplied by flanks)
    opposing flanks cancel out each other
    Eg 3v1 Unit with Shock iii gets (5+3+3+3)x 2 = 28% bonus to CS
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  9. JohanBest

    JohanBest Chieftain

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    I don't mind this so much as the units should get the bonus only when they are actually in a proper flanking situation.
     
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  10. nekokon

    nekokon Chieftain

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    Definitely need to increase the bonus from promotions. Not only it's harder to get flanking bonus kick in (due to delta completely nullifies base flanking before any bonus is applied), it's also less incentive to try prioritize flanking when fighting now (due to low base flanking value). Before this patch I'd always tried to flank before attacking even with units not having any flanking bonus (because the base value was high enough), but now I don't bother anymore.
    Shock was so so before (low bonus but very high chance to kick in), but now it's just garbage (weaker bonus, and rarely even get used). If we want to balance the 2 promo lines it'd need a much higher bonus than pre-patch.
     
  11. YukiN

    YukiN Chieftain

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    I think 5% is the minimum required. Flanking is harder than before and it is no longer activated when equal sized groups face off. 15% against cities still feels either on par or better, not taking into account higher level promotions.
     
  12. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Okay, I have finally finished running through all of the pictures and analysis. A lot of interesting notes for sure. At the end I included two proposed solutions, one of which is modeled after the old way of calculating flanking and bonuses, but with adjusted numbers, and another using the new way of calculating flanking and bonuses, also with adjusted numbers.

    I captured all of the results in Excel. I have included all of the pictures of the scenarios (there are quite a few) and added pictures of my Excel files for those who might be on mobile or who don't want to play with the formulas. For those who do want the raw Excel file, this is attached below as well, so feel free to use it and play with the numbers.

    You will see in Patch 10-10 that there is a mystery bonus CS that the attackers and defenders get in some situations (most often +15%, but often random). More on that later, but this is why I was thinking the damage wasn't just Flanking Combat bonus + CS Combat Bonus per your previous question @Stalker0. I just hadn't sat down and gone through all the math for every scenario to determine what it was. And @JohanBest I know the values are in the code, but as you can see below, that isn't quite what is happening in game, thus my motivation for doing this test.

    Spoiler Patch 10-10 No Promotions :


    Easy and straightforward, except for the Mystery CS Bonus.


    10-10 Shock 0 Flank 1.jpg 10-10 Shock 0 Flank 2.jpg 10-10 Shock 0 Flank 3.jpg 10-10 Shock 0 Flank 4.jpg 10-10 Shock 0 Flank 5.jpg


    Spoiler Patch 10-10 Shock 1 :


    The Mystery Bonus CS is now random (?), as a hand calculation reveals something isn't getting added/multiplied correctly still. Only one number was correct.

    10-10 Shock 1 Flank 1.jpg 10-10 Shock 1 Flank 2.jpg 10-10 Shock 1 Flank 3.jpg 10-10 Shock 1 Flank 4.jpg 10-10 Shock 1 Flank 5.jpg


    Going to the next message. Hang tight. Lots to upload.
     
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  13. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Spoiler Patch 10-10 Shock 2 :


    One number was actually correct, but the rest are still off by the mystery percentage. 10-10 Shock 2 Flank 1.jpg 10-10 Shock 2 Flank 2.jpg 10-10 Shock 2 Flank 3.jpg 10-10 Shock 2 Flank 4.jpg 10-10 Shock 2 Flank 5.jpg


    Spoiler Patch 10-10 Shock 3 :


    More of the same. All numbers are off again.

    10-10 Shock 3 Flank 1.jpg 10-10 Shock 3 Flank 2.jpg 10-10 Shock 3 Flank 3.jpg 10-10 Shock 3 Flank 4.jpg 10-10 Shock 3 Flank 5.jpg
     
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  14. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Spoiler Patch 10-10 Shock 4 (Overrun) :


    And the last one, also with incorrect numbers, some of which are lower than what they should be.

    10-10 Shock 4 Flank 1.jpg 10-10 Shock 4 Flank 2.jpg 10-10 Shock 4 Flank 3.jpg 10-10 Shock 4 Flank 4.jpg 10-10 Shock 4 Flank 5.jpg


    Spoiler Patch 10-10 Bonus Scenarios :


    10-10 Cancelled Flank - Shock 1 Flank 1 vs Shock 2 Flank 1.jpg

    This first scenario shows both attacker and defender getting a flank. Defender flank % is not amplified by Shock on defense. Values appear to be correct, except for mystery bonus on attacker.


    10-10 Defender Flank - Shock 1 Flank 0 vs Shock 0 Flank 1.jpg

    This second scenario shows the attacker with no flank but the defender with a flank. Values appear to be correct. No mystery bonus.


    10-10 Defender Flank - Shock 1 Flank 1 vs Shock 2 Flank 0.jpg

    This scenario shows the attacker with a flank and the defender without one. Values appear correct, except for mystery CS on attacker.


    10-10 Cancelled Defender Flank - Shock 4 Flank 1 vs Shock 0 Flank 1.jpg
    This scenario shows the attacker (Shock 4) with 1 flank and the defender with 1 flank. Values are off for attacker by quite a bit. Compare to a previous scenario with a single flank for the attacker. The CS is significantly lower.


    10-10 Cancelled Defender Flank - Shock 4 Flank 4 vs Shock 2 Flank 1.jpg

    This scenario shows 4 flanks for the attacker (Shock 4) and 1 flank for the defender. Again, compare with previous scenario of just 4 flankers with Shock 4. The CS values for attacker are much lower than expected. Something isn't getting added properly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  15. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Below are some notes I took while tabulating all of the data into Excel:

    This is the old version (prior to patch 11-9) for calculating flank combat % boost with the addition of the shock modifiers.

    CS calculated as (Num of flanks x Base Flank %) * (Shock Modifier %). Base flank = 15%

    The old version is heavily favoring of flanking attacks in general and does not require a unit to be in the Shock line to achieve significant flank damage. This weakens the benefits of going with Shock (unless you choose this line purely for the Tier 4 promotions) over Drill, since you dont start to see a significant boost in flank damage compared to Drill until Shock 3. At max rank (Overrun) and max flanks, you only gain 175% more damage than having no Shock promotions. The new version, for comparison, gains a 380% boost, even if lower total CS boost than original.

    A very interesting note, it seems that in patch 10-10 that there is a mysterious CS being added to unit strength. This can be seen in a number of the screenshots. Sometimes to the attacker, others to the defender, and in a few cases to both. At later ranks of Shock and flank numbers, the CS was even being calculated as lower than estimated, reason unknown.

    CS was only updated if I moved the unit into position (vs. dropping him in place with In Game Editor), but flanking bonus was updated on the fly. Not sure if that means that a unit will be stronger if moving and attacking in the same turn vs. attacking from stationary position (based on when CS is updated, or if this is just a visual bug).

    Additionally, if a unit was not fully surrounded and the unflanked positions were left open, the CS was different than if the unflanked positions were filled with enemy units. Even though, the total CS bonus was the same, the calculated CS value was different.
    Spoiler Excel Results :

    Old Excel Calcs.PNG
     
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  16. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Spoiler Patch 11-9 No Promotions :


    It seems our mystery bonus CS is now gone. Something sketchy was fixed when the promotion logic was changed. All values match predictions.

    11-9 Shock 0 Flank 1.jpg 11-9 Shock 0 Flank 2.jpg 11-9 Shock 0 Flank 3.jpg 11-9 Shock 0 Flank 4.jpg 11-9 Shock 0 Flank 5.jpg


    Spoiler Patch 11-9 Shock 1 :


    Again, values are correct as predicted.

    11-9 Shock 1 Flank 1.jpg 11-9 Shock 1 Flank 2.jpg 11-9 Shock 1 Flank 3.jpg 11-9 Shock 1 Flank 4.jpg 11-9 Shock 1 Flank 5.jpg
     
  17. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Spoiler Patch 11-9 Shock 2 :


    More of the same.

    11-9 Shock 2 Flank 1.jpg 11-9 Shock 2 Flank 2.jpg 11-9 Shock 2 Flank 3.jpg 11-9 Shock 2 Flank 4.jpg 11-9 Shock 2 Flank 5.jpg


    Spoiler Patch 11-9 Shock 3 :


    Again, everything looks good. 11-9 Shock 3 Flank 1.jpg 11-9 Shock 3 Flank 2.jpg 11-9 Shock 3 Flank 3.jpg 11-9 Shock 3 Flank 4.jpg 11-9 Shock 3 Flank 5.jpg
     
  18. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    Spoiler Patch 11-9 Shock 4 :


    You guessed it, these are all correct too.

    11-9 Shock 4 Flank 1.jpg 11-9 Shock 4 Flank 2.jpg 11-9 Shock 4 Flank 3.jpg 11-9 Shock 4 Flank 4.jpg 11-9 Shock 4 Flank 5.jpg


    Spoiler Patch 11-9 Bonus Scenarios :


    11-9 Defender Flank - Shock 0 Flank 0 vs Shock 2 Flank 1.jpg

    This scenario has an attacker with no promotions or flanks vs a defender with Shock 2 and 1 flank. His Flanking bonus is off though surprisingly. Not sure why that is. Does not appear to be adding anything from the defender's Shock rank.

    11-9 Defender Flank - Shock 3 Flank 1 vs Shock 0 Flank 0 Before CS Update.jpg

    This scenario shows an attacker with 1 flank using Shock 3 vs a defender with no promotions or flanks. The numbers are not correct here. The CS values do not seem to update unless the unit moves, which is shown in the next picture and description...


    11-9 Defender Flank - Shock 3 Flank 1 vs Shock 0 Flank 0 After CS Update.jpg

    ...and now the numbers are correct. Same scenario, same units, I just moved the Spearman back one space and back into the spot he was in before. Now the CS is updated. Does this mean CS is only updated after moving a unit?



    11-9 Cancelled Flank - Shock 0 Flank 1 vs Shock 0 Flank 1.jpg

    And lastly, this scenario shows both the attacker and defender with a flanker, negating any flanking bonuses. This neutralizes Shock if you can neutralize the flanking numbers.
     
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  19. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    The game files for 11-9 indicate that it should be 3% per Shock rank +10% for Overrun.

    CS calculated as: (Base Flank % + Cumulative Shock %) x (Num of Flanks). Base Flank = 5%. These numbers appear to be correct.

    Overall, benefits of Shock are stronger with this system, but the values are perhaps too low, as the overall value of flanking is much lower starting from low numbers of flanks and Shock ranks all the way to max on each. This current version is a heavy nerf to flanking while also being a new way to calculate total flank bonus. The caveat is that now flanking % can be nullified if there are equal number of enemy units as friendly units flanking, meaning no benefit at all from Shock unless you have more flankers.

    Spoiler Patch 11-9 Excel Results :

    New Excel Calcs.PNG


    A proposal that some have made here already is that the Shock % should be 5% vs 3%. Here are the results of what those values would look like if it were changed to 5%.

    CS calculated as: (Base Flank % + Cumulative Shock %) x (Num of Flanks). Base Flank = 5%.

    This achieves the goal of nerfing flanking if not using a Shock unit while also retaining powerful damage bonuses the higher you go in the Shock line. This calculation model has higher variance from non-Shock units compared to old values, but less ramp up with increased number of flankers. It is much more dependent on Shock values than flank numbers.

    Spoiler Proposed Flank Calculation Method (Additive) :


    Proposed 1 Excel Calcs.PNG


    Finally, this is an alternative version of the original, old calculation method, but using a lower base flank and higher Shock multiplier (200% per Shock rank or Overrun).

    CS calculated as: (Num of Flanks x Base Flank %) * (Shock Modifier %). Base Flank % = 5%.

    This calculation method has similar final results to the original values while also nerfing flanking if you are not using the Shock line, which I believe was one intended goal of the change. If the AI is bad at flanking and the total values need a nerf, this can easily be adjusted with a change to the Shock Modifier %. This version is better than the original final values starting at Shock 2. Shock values of 1 or 0 are heavily nerfed, requiring a player to invest deeper into the Shock line to gain flanking benefits.

    Spoiler Proposed Flank Calculation Method (Multiplicative) :


    Proposed 2 Excel Calcs.PNG


    And at the end is the Excel file if anyone wants to play with numbers.

    I would STRONGLY hesitate to call pre-patch 11-9 balanced, as it was certainly what we were used to, and might even be close to balanced, but while we are tinkering with flanking, we should figure out what the numbers should be.

    Here are a few questions to spur discussion now that we have the real data:

    Should flanking be more heavily based on just having flankers, regardless of promotions? Or should Shock ranks determine the value of a flank? This will more differentiate the Drill vs Shock lines.

    Should flanking CS boost reach such high numbers with high numbers of flankers? Before this patch, you could get a massive combat boost, allowing very low leveled or previous era units to swing way above their league. Should that be the case? Trapping a Giant Death Robot with a bunch of warriors could kill it with a battle of attrition since he can't escape due to ZOC. Is that balanced?

    Okay, that's all for now. Gotta run. You'll have plenty to chew on and digest! Now we can discuss whether we think these numbers are balanced or if we need changes.
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    @Gazebo @ilteroi

    Forgot to ping you guys for your review on all of this as well. I do realize that I was off a bit on my numbers when I was originally making my proposition on Github with respect to changing all of these values to additive, so I must apologize. I will blame lack of sleep, since I can't quite follow the line of logic I was trying to use...but it is a good thing we got in there to make changes, because there were hidden bonuses at play (both positive and negative) that we seem to have flushed out now!
     
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