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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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    TwoPodRay, thank you very much for taking so much time with the numbers. I will admit, I didn't understand the mystery CS at all at first. I was looking at all of the percentages going "what is he talking about, all of the percentages look great to me"....until I realized you meant the actual final CS number :(

    To me, beyond the mystery bonus, the most important note here is that shock does not help on defense while normal flanking does. That is something I was not aware of, so thank you for that.

    Shock vs Drill: Ultimately this one has been debated many times on the forum, and the general consensus again and again has been that the two lines are well balanced against each other. I know there are going to be people looking at the numbers from 10-10 patch and saying "shock is crap! buff buff buff!". But people have been playing the game with those values for months and years, and again general consensus has said balanced. So my main platform is to get flanking as close to its original as possible. I don't see any need to fundamentally strengthen or weaken shock, nor strength nor weaken flanking overall.

    So now that I know shock doesn't lose out on defense like I thought it was in the new patch, the only weakening is the fact that an attacker loses out on some shock bonus if the defender flanks. I think we do have to account for that, but not in a major way.

    So my recommendation would be:

    1) Flanking: +15%
    2) Shock I: +5% (remember its now additive). This is actually a 33% increase to shock's strength from previous....but considers the notion that the bonus is much easier to take away now. And of course, there's is a nice round simplicity to a 5% number that would be ideal if its balanced. If this was too strong, I think a 4.5 or 4% value would also be worth considering.
     
    TwoPodRay likes this.
  2. JohanBest

    JohanBest Chieftain

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    Mystery bonus and funny values in 10-10 was because of the bugged flanking code.

    Firstly, an extra flank is added incorrectly. So all examples you show have 15% added on top.
    This is because the bugged code did not ignore the attacker when calculating number of flanks.

    Secondly, another bug is that none of the the shocks flank bonuses are actually added to the CS. The only thing added is 10% bonus to CS per shock promo.

    Anyways, that the flanking code was bugged for the last patch(es) is academic. Main thing is working out what are the best values going forward now that the code is no longer bugged.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  3. JohanBest

    JohanBest Chieftain

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    Since the AI is not so good at flanking having a lower base flank is not a bad idea.

    I think 5% is too low however.

    My vote would be 10% base flank and 5% bonus per shock.

    Other promotions that gave percentage increases to flank should be converted based on the decided upon base flank.

    So old 100% flanking bonus would be a flat 10% bonus, 50% bonus, flat 5% bonus etc.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  4. nekokon

    nekokon Chieftain

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    I have a different opinion. Based on the current notion of nerfing base flanking to reduce the strength of alpha strike, I think we should keep the 5% base delta, but double the bonus from promotion (10% each rank).

    This is in order to create a more specialized role to each line, and while Drill favors number and tight formation on the frontline, Shock would focus on mobility and bigger flanking bonus to quickly take down lone enemies behind. AI should be taught to always keep their unit in tight formation if possible so alpha strike would be weakened like intended, but shock would still have its specialized use in harassing/cutting off backup before they grouped up with the main force.

    This way players can still make use of some tactical plannings, though in smaller scale and only for a specific type of troops, instead of just throwing out numbers.
     
    tu_79 likes this.
  5. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    I'd also like to see shock promotions having some noticeable value, especially now that flanking occurs less often.
     
  6. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    This might be too much of a buff to Shock however. I am more in favour of the +10% base and 5% per promotion. It would also preserve the current balance of flanking promotions like Raider/Overrun.
     
  7. YukiN

    YukiN Chieftain

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    If shock was 10% per tier, I'm probably never taking drill, and just leave cities to seige units.
     
  8. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    I just want to point out that I think if Shock becomes +5% x delta then Overrun should be +20%. That way, the ratio between the two will be the same. Overrun will be really weak at just 10%.
     
  9. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Seriously? Taking cities with just melee is really worth it. Any melee unit can hurt cities, but only those with drill threaten capturing defended cities. I don't see why can't shock units noticeably better at field fight. They need to get flanking support in the first place, which is not always granted.
     
  10. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    The old levels of Shock give +3.75% per flank per layer, which means that with Shock III, you get +11.25% per flank, which was considered balanced. Like this, it would become +30% x delta which is just too much. It also messes up the balance of other flanking bonuses in the game relative to Shock.

    5% per promotion is a nice number that's pretty close to what Shock used to be.
     
  11. JohanBest

    JohanBest Chieftain

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    All the flanking bonuses go through the same code. So Overrun will get multiplied by the delta as well. Currently overrun is set at 10%.
     
  12. nekokon

    nekokon Chieftain

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    If 10% is too much, how about reducing shock's cs bonus to 5 or 7.5 each rank to compensate ?
    The idea is still the same, Drill will have a bit higher cs overall but almost no flanking bonus, and Shock will be a bit weaker on the front line (because of lower cs bonus) but stronger when ambushing lone units ?
    Of course all other flanking promotions should have their numbers adjusted as well. The delta affected flanking in general, not just shock line.

    The main point is not simply balance based solely on "numbers", but actual usage.
    Before the change flanking was good enough that you always try to maximize its use, thus shock, even with lower bonus, has much higher usage overall. Right now it's almost unnecessary to go for flank anymore, giving shock the same bonus as before will never be enough to make it as good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  13. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    +30% x delta is from all three levels of Shock which is basically objectively better than the old Shock III +11.25% per flank. Assuming the +10% CS goes unchanged-with just one supporting unit in the right spot with this system, you'd gain the benefit of having 3 flankers in the old system. Changing the +10% CS fundamentally alters how Shock/Drill will be used and we don't need that drastic a change right now.

    I believe +15% x delta (with Shock III, so +5% x delta per promotion) is a reasonable number compared to +11.25% per flank-a little more than having 1 flanker in the old system (+11.25%) but not having as much as 2 flankers in the old system (+22.5%). Don't forget that I also support making base flanking +10%, so the base flanking modifier wouldn't be too off compared to what it used to be.
     
  14. nekokon

    nekokon Chieftain

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    If we buffed up base flanking it would defeat the main goal of nerfing base flanking to reduce alpha strike's power. Then it'd be simpler to just use the old value of 15% base 2.5% bonus. We're not trying to revert or lessen the change, we're trying to tune up another option to compensate for that change.

    I don't think there would be problem with changing the cs bonus for shock/drill, given they're already separated lines with completely different uses. You think ppl can just get drill III for higher cs bonus then jump straight into overrun for bigger dmg than shock lines or something ?
     
  15. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Let's step back and make sure we're on the same page. Right now, the base value of 'Flank Bonus = (5 + a) x d', where 'd = friendly - enemy' and 'a = promotion bonus'

    Code:
    /*5*/ (GC.getBONUS_PER_ADJACENT_FRIEND() + pUnit->GetFlankAttackModifier()) * (iNumUnitsAdjacentToOther - iNumUnitsAdjacentToHere);
    Shock is valued at 3 per level, so:
    Shock 1 = 5+3
    Shock 2 = 5+6
    Shock 3 = 5+9

    So it's a fairly sizable bump. Taking Shock to 5 would be a 100% increase in flanking power per level.

    G
     
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  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Lets step back even further shall we:)

    Flanking was changed from 15% to 5%. I want to start with that discussion first. While a code change to clean up flanking I understand, I do not see a strong reason to reduce the flanking bonus. People will say "the AI was not as good at using it as the human". That may be true, but we can technically say that about any strategic aspect of the game. We could take our terrain bonuses too....heck lets remove promotions as the human is still better at picking them. At some point we have to accept that the benefits of the mechanic, and the fun it generates for the player, is worth the skill gap it creates between Player and AI.

    Flanking was a fun bonus that incentives a good army and good positioning. And while the AI was not as good at it, they often got a lot of benefit from it but there sheer numbers....as their army was usually larger than the humans.

    Meanwhile, flanking has never come up on these boards as a balance concern. People overall seemed very happy and comfortable with that bonus. By changing it, we are changing a major part of combat, we are changing the balance of melee vs ranged, of offense vs defense, etc. This is not a small change, it has a lot of consequences throughout the game.

    So I return to "ain't broke don't fix it", lets change flanking back to 15%.
     
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  17. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    Shock used to be 3.75% though and flanking is now weakened due to the introduction of the delta (before, you'd get +7.5% bonus per promotion in a 3 vs. 2 fight, now you only get 3% per promotion). So I think bumping it to 5% would balance the delta out nicely (it's also just a neat, easy to calculate number). Promotions like Overrun/Raider are pretty weak now too (before, Raider would have been +22.5% per flanker based on its description of 150% flanking bonus, and delta didn't affect it, now it's 15% x delta, which is way weaker).

    I don't really care too much about the base flanking modifier but I think 5% is just too low to factor in my decision-making if I don't have Shock, it makes flanking almost completely irrelevant if you don't have Shock outside of ZoC, l'm not sure if that is intended. If we want to nerf alpha strike I think 10% may be enough but I don't know how the AI treats flanking tbh.
     
  18. YukiN

    YukiN Chieftain

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    Drill, is nice, but making Shock 10% would pretty much double the opportunity cost of Drill. I'm never going to pass a 10% field promotion for a 15% city one; I am pretty sure I can get more than 1.5x the use out of flank than drill. Pre-patch I was going shock on longswords-men and calvary, and drill for spears, which I feel is a good place to be, and 5% is definitely much closer to what we had pre-patch.
     
  19. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    But it clearly was broken, as it was a major source of AI stomping combat-wise (since the AI couldn't use it effectively).

    G
     
  20. YukiN

    YukiN Chieftain

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    I think thinking of promotions in terms of the base delta is not the right way to go about it. Promotions should be considered against other promotions, since that is the opportunity cost. Does flanking come more than 5x as often as city attacks under the new system? For what I can tell, it's either close or a solid no depending on unit type and play, so 5% against 25% is certainly not overpowered. The 25% from drill also benefits from concentration in a way 5% cannot.

    As for the base delta, I believe 10% is okay. 15% was too high and too easy, sure, but a base of 5% basically makes flanking a non-factor. A simultaneous reduction in the bonus and an increase in the difficulty of getting flanking should be enough for now. The reduced delta and increased difficulty are also nerfs to flanking promotions since flanking scenarios a lot rarer and less worth actively creating.

    TLDR: 10% base, 5% for shock.
     

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