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Tarski

Low-tier tech tree pruning and other balance patch discussion

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48 minutes ago, Jesse_the_Scout said:

Jesus. I just logged into the test server and looked things over. If this is the end result, what a disappointment. No apparent nerfs to anything that needs it, they just scaled everything almost flat. At high tier everything has +20% HPs and +20% to damage. Even the arty nerf just basically boils down to forcing people to shoot gold arty shells in order to keep their current damage output. So costing more credits and removing stun is basically it. They haven't changed the cost of ammo at all, so gold ammo appears proportionately more expensive than ever. They haven't even scaled up how much ammo you can carry past tier 5, so the fucking T67 is fine but something like the Type 64 is stuck with even lower potential damage against the hordes of power creeped tier 8 heavies.

Oh joy Brits lights. 20% more shells to be fired does it mean even high calibre sub-30 rounds tanks are going to have a real bad days? 

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Consider an extreme case like the Super Hellcat they just gave out... 30 rounds of 240 a hit is already way too little ammo for a tier 7 TD, now everything just got +20% HPs. If you load 50/50 AP/APCR your damage output compared to the enemy hitpoint total just dropped by about 10%. Maybe they'll scale ammo loads for everything tier 6-10 too...

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This seems pretty typical of WG when it comes to major balance changes. At some level, there is some sensible and smart stuff, but they tend to overreach and try to do too much at one go, so it ends up being a bit of a steaming mess.

Simplifying the tech trees is a good idea, and removing a lot of the low-tier clutter (which let's be honest, most players don't play) is a decent enough idea. I'm 50-50 on the branch-swapping points, in some cases it meant you could avoid certain tanks you didn't like but it does make the grinds more straightforward. Not too big a fan of removing tier 8 tanks and above, but I understand why they're doing it to simplify the branches. Also not a fan of removing historical/real tanks while leaving some of the made-up ridiculousness in the tech trees just for the sake of 'line consistency'. But on balance seems okay.

Then you get the HP changes, and that is a real problem. They want to nerf gold rounds without actually nerfing them, so they 'buff' HP instead while keeping gold round damage the same. Okay, sure. I get it, and in of itself, not stupid. But just straight out flat increasing HP is stupid if they don't make other adjustments for the reasons @Jesse_the_Scout has articulated.

HE changes are dumb, personally I think the current mechanics are fine if they are balanced around things like the Blackdog, T49 and HESH on the Cent tanks, as opposed to the Type 4/5d and HESH on the Deathstar. There are many tanks with perfectly fine HE mechanics that are going to have fun gimmicks removed, but then you have the KV2 untouched "for the memes". What's the point?

This is a big risk for WG, the changes here have the potential to fundamentally change how the game plays, which might turn off a lot of players as opposed to bring in new ones. The main reason that's happening is because they're trying to do too much at once. Again.

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4 hours ago, Jesse_the_Scout said:

Jesus. I just logged into the test server and looked things over. If this is the end result, what a disappointment. No apparent nerfs to anything that needs it, they just scaled everything almost flat. At high tier everything has +20% HPs and +20% to damage. Even the arty nerf just basically boils down to forcing people to shoot gold arty shells in order to keep their current damage output. So costing more credits and removing stun is basically it. They haven't changed the cost of ammo at all, so gold ammo appears proportionately more expensive than ever. They haven't even scaled up how much ammo you can carry past tier 5, so the fucking T67 is fine but something like the Type 64 is stuck with even lower potential damage against the hordes of power creeped tier 8 heavies.

I'm going to play more battles on the test server, but I'm sure my feedback will be mostly negative. They've taken forever and now they want to rush out a half-baked rework with promises of future adjustments. On stream eekeeboo admitted that the Manticore not getting its shell count adjusted to the new HP pools and shell mechanics was crippling and had nothing to say about plans to fix things like that.

The argument eekeeboo advanced in the announcement stream was that the numbers and systems being changed in this patch are the foundation on which other changes can be made, so they'll be able to buff and nerf things as appropriate from here on out with fewer obstacles. But it's hard to trust WG to be remotely prompt with additional changes since they'll "need to gather more data" for ages. And also this foundation doesn't seem like it was thought through very well. 

I don't doubt that the hit point numbers have some math behind them, like looking at armor use efficiency and balancing same-tier tanks around having similar effective health pools, but the spread in hit point values at tier 10 is surprisingly small relative to the alpha damage of tier 10 shells. Heavy tanks have the same spread of hit point values at tier 10 in the balance patch (1050 Maus-Kranvagn vs. 1000 on the live server) that they have on the live server, meaning the tanks whose advantage was having more health have a proportionally smaller advantage. And for tanks that can be penned by the new high alpha AP shells, that difference is smaller with respect to that proportion as well. 

Particular tanks' hit point values don't seem tailored to balance them. For example, on the live server the IS-4 has 100 hit points more than the IS-7. On the test server, the IS-4 (+24.0%) has 150 hit points more than the IS-7 (+22.9%). I've heard the line about needing to set a foundation of smoothly scaling health values before more buffs and nerfs are made, but is increasing the IS-4's health by an extra 1.1% the right way to change its stats relative to its more competitive cousin? Meanwhile the TOG has seen its hit points increase by 42.9% for the memes. 

WG seems to have avoided one of the systemic issues (buffing all health pools the same favors armored vehicles more) in some special cases...at least to some extent. The Maus has seen its health rise by only 18.3%, which is on the low side. That is probably a good thing, but I'd want to see the math behind it. 

There is another systemic issue that we've been talking about on this forum since at least as early as last year, though: if regular ammo does substantially (~20%) more damage than premium ammo, the advantage that high pen tanks had over low pen tanks goes up. A lot. The Leopard and STRV-103B, for example, love these changes. Meanwhile any tank that made frequent use of its HEAT rounds (as for example the T-54) is getting a large nerf, which has not been compensated in any way by this "good foundation"—at least as far as I've seen. 

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50 minutes ago, Ezz said:

Fewer obstacles for balancing changes? Did they go into any detail in what those were?

The idea was that gun balancing had to wait on changes to the shell system, and survivability balance had to wait on the health changes, and that all balance was harder when health wasn't a linear function of tier. (That last point was, at other times, phrased in terms of power as a function of tier, but I don't know what else was being referred to besides health.) Now I don't know what's preferable about linear scales from a gameplay perspective, but I do understand that it makes balancing multi-tier battles easier. 

In other words, the real obstacle was that WG had committed to making these sweeping balance changes, and everything else like E 100 and IS-4 buffs were blocked by this project. 

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1 hour ago, Tarski said:

There is another systemic issue that we've been talking about on this forum since at least as early as last year, though: if regular ammo does substantially (~20%) more damage than premium ammo, the advantage that high pen tanks had over low pen tanks goes up. A lot. The Leopard and STRV-103B, for example, love these changes. Meanwhile any tank that made frequent use of its HEAT rounds (as for example the T-54) is getting a large nerf, which has not been compensated in any way by this "good foundation"—at least as far as I've seen. 

I think the changes have need to happen since the game launch; you can't balance a tank properly when it has a standard ammo and a "better in every realistic way" ammo. Now whether or not they manage the change alright it up to them, but I think there are more than a few tanks which have been propped up or weighed down by the widespread use of premium ammo. If wargamming plays the whole "collecting data" game they usually do, its going to suck. But if they actually do deliver on their promises in a reasonable time-frame for a change, it could end up leaving game balance in a much better spot.

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I think its fair to assume that the point of this patch wasn't to directly buff or nerf any specific vehicles, so a lot of tanks that were OP or UP before are still going to be that way in the sandbox.

It has produced a lot of weird anomalies though of tanks moving tiers and then being absolute garbage. The KV-1S at tier 6 looks HORRENDOUS.

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3 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

But if they actually do deliver on their promises in a reasonable time-frame for a change, it could end up leaving game balance in a much better spot.

Yeah, that's the crux of it. I'm fine with all the numbers in the game changing, as annoying as it might be to relearn lots of numbers. But even more numbers will have to change downstream, and I can only hope Wargaming is aware of the risk they're taking and will follow up promptly with per-tank balance changes. 

Oh, and the HE rework feels like a rough draft and they need to keep working on that. I've seen 183mm HESH shells that hit a tank's armor directly deal anywhere from about 140 damage to about 1400 damage. Since you can't plan around penetration anymore, the damage feels less "normalized," not more. 

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36 minutes ago, Tupinambis said:

It has produced a lot of weird anomalies though of tanks moving tiers and then being absolute garbage. The KV-1S at tier 6 looks HORRENDOUS.

Valentine AT at tier 4 and crusader at tier 6 are terrible without changes. In the case of the former, considering the gun shield thickness, I think they should have just stuck with the Alecto, but the crusader is workable if they go the light tank route; the meteor tank engine (600hp) was first mounted in a crusader for testing, and it reached 80km/h (no speed limiter) when they did so.

21 minutes ago, Tarski said:

Oh, and the HE rework feels like a rough draft and they need to keep working on that. I've seen 183mm HESH shells that hit a tank's armor directly deal anywhere from about 140 damage to about 1400 damage. Since you can't plan around penetration anymore, the damage feels less "normalized," not more. 

HE changes are easily the worst part of the change, and the problem with existing HE (according to them) has more to do with the formula as opposed to the shells themselves.

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I always said WoT became a mess but the tanks aren't the reason, maybe get rid of the clusterfuck of missions consumables currencies bonuses and diarrhoea UI and garage if you want to simplify.

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5 hours ago, Ham_ said:

I always said WoT became a mess but the tanks aren't the reason, maybe get rid of the clusterfuck of missions consumables currencies bonuses and diarrhoea UI and garage if you want to simplify.

At least their map design is on point. 


3ox7kn.jpg

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These balance change suck. WG decided premium ammo was the problem, instead of just a part of the problem, which is WG's shitty per-tank balance.

This patch is a megabuff for things like the 279e, Bobject, etc. specifically brick armored TD's benefit a ton from these changes, because their standard rounds have the highest pen in the game, and do even more damage now. WG fails to realize that they can change the ammo mechanics all they want, but if they don't balance the fucking tanks in the first place, none of it matters.

Oh and another side effect is paper tanks suffer bigtime, because everyone can pen you with standard rounds for max damage, while you can't reliably pen certain tanks at all with standard ammo, thus do way less damage in return. Especially tanks with low pen.

 

OH almost forgot to mention. the DPM increase of most high tier tanks outpaces the increase in HP, which means things die more quickly. (to standard ammo at least)

 

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I feel that given the time already wasted dillydallying around sandbox, etc, it would be simpler just to rebalance everything on a tank by tank basis. Tank removals are unnecessary if you make every tank fun even if not necessarily competitive. Removing tanks because they can't make people play them is just putting the cart before the horse. Classic WG.

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17 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

I think the changes have need to happen since the game launch; you can't balance a tank properly when it has a standard ammo and a "better in every realistic way" ammo. Now whether or not they manage the change alright it up to them, but I think there are more than a few tanks which have been propped up or weighed down by the widespread use of premium ammo. If wargamming plays the whole "collecting data" game they usually do, its going to suck. But if they actually do deliver on their promises in a reasonable time-frame for a change, it could end up leaving game balance in a much better spot.

I agree. It's abundantly clear that the cost of premium ammo alone is not at all prohibitive at higher tiers, and there needs to be some kind of rebalancing to make regular AP more viable. If they could make it so that both types of ammo (+HE in some cases) are viable, but in different situations, that would be great.

I'm not sure if WG can actually pull it off though, but I support the idea at least.

This also gives them the opportunity to bring some of the premium tanks down in line with the regular tech tree tanks in terms of balance, since they technically wouldn't be nerfed, it would just be all the other tanks that are getting buffed more.

I'm cautiously optimistic. Will check out the sand box test server later.

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On 2/11/2020 at 9:06 AM, Jesse_the_Scout said:

Jesus. I just logged into the test server and looked things over. If this is the end result, what a disappointment. No apparent nerfs to anything that needs it, they just scaled everything almost flat. At high tier everything has +20% HPs and +20% to damage. Even the arty nerf just basically boils down to forcing people to shoot gold arty shells in order to keep their current damage output. So costing more credits and removing stun is basically it. They haven't changed the cost of ammo at all, so gold ammo appears proportionately more expensive than ever. They haven't even scaled up how much ammo you can carry past tier 5, so the fucking T67 is fine but something like the Type 64 is stuck with even lower potential damage against the hordes of power creeped tier 8 heavies.

Basically low tier gameplay might improve because the HPs scale up better, but the three tier spread is actually going to be worse than ever because your gold ammo is weaker. Without compensating for it elsewhere (such as by scaling HPs by class) this is going to make heavies the dominant vehicle and make fighting up suck even more. I was optimistic they had come around, but they really are just steaming forward with the shitty original sandbox plan for World of Red E-100s.

EDIT: The more stats I look at the more triggered I get. For a lot of the low tier changes they just moved shit up a tier and gave it some more HPs, maybe +10 view range, blam, this fine. I kid you not they took the Valentine AT which is already bad at tier 3 and just made it a tier 4 with a few more HPs. Same guns, same view range, same everything else. A-20 is now a tier 5 with a few more HPs and +20 view range. Crusader is now a tier 6 light with a few more HPs and maybe +1 RoF. It goes on like this. Amazingly half-assed.

Remember how they said they couldn't rebalance tanks because they were working on a global tank rebalance? LOL about that.

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The short version of my opinion is that I went into the sandbox server expecting Wargaming to completely screw everything up and expecting that it will take 2+ years for them to fix it if the changes go through.  Wargaming did not let me down.

 

About the ammo changes:

  • In reality the problem is not the ammunition.  The problem is many corridor maps that forces tanks to fight frontal with limited or no flanking opportunities and a lack of frontal weakspots that can be reliably hit with fully aimed shots on stationary tanks at any distance further away than ~50 meters.  Instead of fixing the cause of the problem, Wargaming is focused on fixing the symptom of the problem.
  • Taking HESH penetration away from the UK tanks removes some skill from the game in my opinion.  Knowing when you can use HESH and do more damage than the standard ammo is a skilled decision.  Also, removing HESH penetration takes away a unique aspect of gameplay in the UK tech tree vehicles.
  • Reducing the damage of gold/special/premium APCR ammo compared to the HP pool of tanks is a buff to wheeled light vehicles.  Its much easier to hsi them at 300+ meters with APCR and now players will need more penetrating hits to destroy them.
  • Removing HE and HESH pen is a buff to wheels light vehicles.  Now I can't time my shot properly at closer range to have a higher likelihood of penetrating and doing significant damage.
  • I don't think the ammo changes will reduce the gold/special/premium fired by many players because they will still choose more reliable damage over the possibility of higher damage.

About the tech tree changes:

  • Wargaming is removing many low tier tanks that had different or unique aspect to their gameplay that were funa s a new player.
  • I have no idea why tier 10's are being removed.  The 113 isn't bad and was worth the grind.  It just has been power creeped.  Now it seems like a worse(slower less armor worse gun handling) 430U.  

Wargaming is screwing up the game because they don't even know how to play the game and never listen to above average skill players.  I bet if Wargaming asked the top 5% of players what they would change in the game, the answers would be different than the proposed changes.

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12 minutes ago, Bavor said:

I bet if Wargaming asked the top 5% of players what they would change in the game, the answers would be different than the proposed changes.

I bet if wargaming played their own game the changes would be different.

also they gave the Luchs 640 HP, its like a wolf among lambs. I'm averaging 5 kills a game with 4 times my normal ping because I can trade HP so much better than before. Honestly I think an HP buff is a bit of a band-aid on a sucking chest wound at low tiers. The issue is that some tanks are just fucking broken OP and the caliber of players is so weak at low tiers that any half competent clown with an OP tank can kick the shit out of them.

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2 hours ago, Bavor said:
  • I have no idea why tier 10's are being removed.  The 113 isn't bad and was worth the grind.  It just has been power creeped.  Now it seems like a worse(slower less armor worse gun handling) 430U.  

 

I unlocked the 113 years ago... with the branch splitting I haven't wanted to grind a new crew (esp without any Chinese crew trainers). They probably should have done the same thing with the 113 as the Foch 155 ,etc.

Now... with female crew being handed out all of the time, directives, crew books, etc I don't think it as a huge issue as it used to be.

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Low tiers on test server play like high tiers now.  Might just be the environment, but I'm tentatively readying myself to turn my back on this game for good.

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On 2/11/2020 at 1:25 AM, Assassin7 said:

They buffed it right up to the top of clan wars competitiveness a few years ago, and it hasnt been touched since then, theyve just overbuffed everything else and released new, more powercreeped tanks. 

do you know what game is doing the same? league:feelsgoodman:like kaisa, xayah, etc were top adc's then, now everyone plays only senna-aphelios-mf circle.

Its just the same:doge:

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8 minutes ago, Vindi said:

do you know what game is doing the same? league:feelsgoodman:like kaisa, xayah, etc were top adc's then, now everyone plays only senna-aphelios-mf circle.

Its just the same:doge:

Im too bad at league to comment on that lol. (but I legit almost never see aphelios in blind pick idk why)

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regarding to wot, its amazing that i gave every chance to this game, i played it nonstop for 8 years and i have actual good memories from it. the first lets say 2-3 years were awesome, the clan wars, playing with friends and watching russian streamers to improve. ah good times.

then the game became so utterly trash that i never regretted quitting for a moment. it could've been one of the best games because of its type and how unique it is, but they ruined it because all they care about is more money with less work.

but yeah, for memories, it was a nice period of my youth and such

i miss my boys in ideal sometimes:wub:

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32 minutes ago, Vindi said:

regarding to wot, its amazing that i gave every chance to this game, i played it nonstop for 8 years and i have actual good memories from it. the first lets say 2-3 years were awesome, the clan wars, playing with friends and watching russian streamers to improve. ah good times.

then the game became so utterly trash that i never regretted quitting for a moment. it could've been one of the best games because of its type and how unique it is, but they ruined it because all they care about is more money with less work.

but yeah, for memories, it was a nice period of my youth and such

i miss my boys in ideal sometimes:wub:

legitimately the same for me. I've played this game since I was literally 12 years old. being a part of it and the community actually fully influenced who I am today (In a lot of good ways, but also a few bad ways I admit) But I too look back on the time i spent playing fondly and dont regret a moment of it.

 

I havent "quit", but bringing up the will to play has just gotten harder and harder the last year or two. Something I wish wasn't the case, but WG are being retarded

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Yeah this changes will make me quit. The biggest part is with their approach to premium ammo they are screwing tanks fighting +2. I tend to run little gold outside of 2 mark runs and still I find this to be annoying. 

Though overall I just think with every patch I think WG is less and less competent. Now they seem like the only thing that guides them is the sentiment of 50% bobs on RU server and nothing else. 

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