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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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    I'm not seeing this AI stomping, and certainly not due to flanking. Watching the diety players, it seems far more a combination of melee shields with strong ranged and artillery attacks that let them "stomp the AI". Heck in that situation flanking is helping the AI because there the ones often attacking in melee, while the human units sit there and soak damage, allowing the ranged units to do work.

    But even if it is somewhat responsible, I will drop back to my other argument. At the end of the day, you can't remove human vs AI skill gap. As long as the combat is tactical, the human will be better at it. You have to pick your battles, and I think this is a losing one. You have upended a number of systems that now have to retuned and re-balanced (aka another 3 months before getting to gold), and taken away a fun tactical puzzle for the human (because a 5% bonus is not worth the trouble).

    All for something that honestly doesn't seem all that abusive.
     
  2. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    While 5% sounds small, it is compounded heavily with Shock ranks and flank numbers. While, yes it is a big change, the numbers I included for the two proposed options show that with slight number tweaks, we can easily arrive at similar numbers as before.

    That leaves the biggest question still: should flank attack effectiveness be based so heavily on number of flankers, or with levels of Shock? I think having Drill and Shock with more deviation in their specialties is healthy, we just need to find the balance in the numbers.
     
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  3. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Are we sure Drill-Shock was balanced? Remember most players assumed wrong values for flanking promotions. And it was Owlbebach or Workerspam who insisted that drill gave much more value if not for the advanced promotions locked in Shock branch.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    In terms of the math, honestly now that it’s been explained...it worked exactly like I thought it did. It was unintuitive but I don’t think most vet players thought it was stronger than it was or anything.

    But to your key question, the debate has happened at least 3 times from my memory. They were each high profile (a lot of posting) and came to the same conclusion. In other words we have a lot more evidence to suggest that they were balanced than imbalanced.
     
  5. nekokon

    nekokon Chieftain

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    To be honest, the main source of damage in my land army almost always comes from ranged attack rather than melee (except for smashing cities after blockage). Shock was only picked on the first few warriors to deal with barbs or super early invasion > to medic, or to get march horsemen pillage strat. Flanking bonus (from promotions) was never been in the equation. Shock lines - Drill lines were indeed balanced, but Shock - Drill were not.
    Either way it's not really the main point of this topic so let's leave it at that.

    Even if they can't use flanking effectively, they're not too bad at defending against it (by unit spamming and attack in waves/groups). If any, I think the lack of good medic usage and horsemen snipping were the main differences between AIs and human players, but they're hard to implement. Flanking was fine as is (pre-patched)
     
  6. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I mean this is where this game really differentiates from Europa Universalis. In that game the skill gap between player and AI is significantly lower because they don't have 90% of the complexity of the system. While removing the things that make the player better than the AI will make combat more "fair" it will also make it more bland.

    I mean the most fair combat system of all would be that there is one line of military units are called "Army." Armies are composed of a balanced army lore-wise, and since tiles are so big the idea that archers and spearmen and such are on the same tile is fine. Also armys function as melee units. We ditch promotions entirely as well as removing flanking entirely. Then all we need to do is balance city strength.Hell we could even remove terrain for combat purposes. (Because when you attack you're in the same forest as them, so why would only they get a defensive buff?)

    That would make combat much easier to balance, and be boring as hell.

    If we're trying to find a middle-ground between that and "so esoteric that the AI is a turtle on it's back" I can see you wanting to reduce flanking bonuses, but that is a bridge too far in my opinion.

    I'm heavily in support of 15% base and 4% per level of shock.
     
  7. CppMaster

    CppMaster Chieftain

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    Also AI's units could have attack bonus vs player's units depending on difficulty, just like bonus vs barbarians. This is for balance reasons if AI can't compete tactically vs Player, but we wouldn't want to combat to be more flat.
     
  8. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    No, we've tried that and it's worse than almost any other option.
     
  9. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Some fine slippery slope arguments on display here.

    "Slightly nerf flanking? The next step is genericized combat!"

    Really? No.

    G
     
  10. CppMaster

    CppMaster Chieftain

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    Could you link me that? I'm curious of the outcome.
     
  11. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    No, I was defining that end of the spectrum. I clearly pointed out that you're trying to find a middle ground, but I'm saying it's too far.

    I guess that the overall tone could come off as a slippery slope argument, but I wasn't intending to.

    I don't have a link, so you can search through patches as well as I can.

    The problem is that having battles between two identical units being a loss for the player feels beyond terrible, and it basically forces really dumb gimmicks. It's also waaay too clearly artificial. The AI having more units is kinda obscured, but the units having a big ol' "AI bonus" is quite terrible.
     
  12. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    This comes to tastes. A bonus is a bonus. Imagine that the AI has units at +50% strength, but the player is able to outproduce it. The difficulty would be similar to what we have now. The difference is that every time you face AI units, the combat advisor will evidence that the AI is buffed, artificially buffed if you like how it sounds. With our current bonuses (handicaps), we can fool us into forgetting we are playing against a set of smart algorithms.
     
  13. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Flanking received a 66% decrease in strength (15 vs 5). That's a pretty steep looking slope to me.
     
  14. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    No, it didn't. That value (15%) wasn't applied flatly to your CS like the current one is. It is more like a 30% decrease overall.

    G
     
  15. TwoPodRay

    TwoPodRay Chieftain

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    But that’s not accounting for shock ranks, which lessens the disparity.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    G, w are getting a lot of back and forth on this and not a single explanation has gone into how the main flanking bonus was calculated "incorrectly". Can we please get an actual explanation for how the old flanking worked so we can debate this properly?
     
  17. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Right now shock is +3%, in the old version it was +3.75%. And it applies less often than it did in the old version. So it actually increases the disparity, not lessens it.
     
  18. ColonelCarter

    ColonelCarter Chieftain

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    While Shock is strictly weaker than it was before, it is a 60% increase to flanking now instead of 25%. A no-shock flank in 11-9 provides 33% the bonus strength as in 10-10 (5 vs 15), but a Shock 1 flank provides 42.67% the bonus strength (8 vs 18.75), Shock 2 flank provides 48.88% the bonus strength (11 vs 22.5), Shock 3 provides 53.33% the bonus strength (14 vs 26.25), and Overrun provides 58.18% the bonus strength (24 vs 41.25).
     
  19. CppMaster

    CppMaster Chieftain

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    Aren't you over exaggerate? Why does it feel beyond terrible? I was OK with it in StarCraft 2 campaign, where at higher difficulty, enemies have more units with more HP and damage. Would you really feel beyond terrible playing that way? :p It's just harder, that's it. What dumb gimmicks does it force? I imagine, that I would be more pressured to plant citadels and be more careful while choosing promotions and planning moves, so it's a merit.
    I'm not saying it's the right solution, but it's a choice between this and flattened combat, where I prefer the former, because it's more interesting.
    Also I'm fine with the current state of combat.
     
  20. Revolutionist_8

    Revolutionist_8 Chieftain

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    I personally agree with ElliotS. Getting rid of (which is obviously not the case currently, just generally speaking) or nerfing the "tools" that helps the human to overcome the bonuses of the AI is something I strongly oppose. Combat AI is amazing, and I'm in favor of make it even better, but please not at the cost of tactics and strategies (which, again, is not the current situation, just raising a small concern).

    Because sometimes you just don't have a choice to overcome it. If there is a wide area and you sequence your moves well, yes, you can beat even superior opponents. But there can be multiple instances where you just don't have an option, and if your unit gets beaten by a supposedly-same-strength unit in 1v1 simply becase of that bonus (even worse if losing high-promoted unit that you're trying to spare)...well...that can be extremely frustrating.
     
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