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View Full Version : BOTH FACTIONS My thoughts on balance



LOFO1993
12th Nov 2013, 20:34
First match for me today, and I have to say the game looks and plays incredibly well to be the alpha of a free-to-play. You did a great job, Psyonix, really.


I don't have to report any particular bug, so I'll just share my thoughts on the balancing of the classes and, even more important, of the races.

I played 4 full matches (on both sides each, of course), and what I realized is humans have a huge advantage over vampires.

1) Damage taking: I feel good with the damage dealt by human weapons, it is not ridiculously low and not OP at the same time. The think I found quite annoying/too easy (depending on the side I was playing of course) is how much hits they can take before going down. The point of balance here should be range attacks vs. high damage, but - for what I've seen - vampires are not capable of really dealing much more damage in melee that humans at every range, which is a bit strange.

2) The Scout: Man, the Scout is just too strong. It deals a lot of damage from far, a ridiculous amount of it from near and he just never dies if you play well. As a Scout I could handle myself one, if not two vampires in close combat at the time, which makes no sense.

The knives throwing ability reloads just way too fast in my opinion, 15 if not 20 seconds would be better: now you can severely wound a vampire attacking you while you go a couple of meters away and begin shooting at him, then the ability is ready again, shoot it again and kill him.

Oh, and he can reload while dodging (which I assume is a bug).

3) Too dodgy: I guess it's ok for humans to be able to dodge, but as a vampire I always found almost impossible to hit anyone who had noticed me, because he began walking back and shoot me, while my hits never reached. Half the times as a Reaver I took someone to the ground, then when we were both up again I struggle to hit him again somehow while I was being shot, and usually I was the one who died, even 1vs1 when I charged firsts.

I actually didn't notice if humans can run backwards, however they run away as fast as hell once they see you, and if their player is good they also shoot you while you're trying in vain to reach them. I suggest vampires to be clearly faster than humans, way more than now, or have them aimbotting their hits at least when they are very close, because half the times you're hitting nothing even from half a meter, while the enemy hits you easily because he can shoot.



In the end, I think it's really easier to play as a human, because if you can shoot decently and you go around in packs you will kill the enemy first most of the times. On the contrary it seems to be really hard to play as the vampire; you need to do a great team work, and if you don't you will just keep on crashing solo against a wall of bullets.

My general impression, in the end, is even when you actually get close to humans as a vampire, or even to a single human, it's damn hard to kill anyone before you get killed yourself.

Zerobot1
12th Nov 2013, 21:03
On point 3, I experienced the same. You get yourself in close but you can never catch them to finish them off by yourself.

It's a bit frustrating, but while you're chasing that human around there's usually (or hopefully) your team mate lining up a pounce or swooping in to take them away, at least that's what I was doing anyway. Every time I saw a Reaver land a pounce I made sure to try and stay closeby to finish them off when they got up.

Also when I played I didn't know you could charge your left mouse melee attack, I don't know if that attack aimbots or how well it might work in a 1v1 situation.

LOFO1993
12th Nov 2013, 21:10
I tried charging my attacks, but in facts that made it only worse: you are forced to stay still while charging, so the enemy has even more time to get away from you.


Also wouldn't it be nice if vampires dealt more damage when hitting from behind? I think that would solve one thing or two on its own.

Crusader_bin
12th Nov 2013, 21:28
I agree to an extent. It certainly is easier to play as scout or alchemist than any of the vampires. If humans camp buildings too much, tanks-team can do a lot of damage to them, otherwise you can use the flying-dropping-smashing_theground and finally finishing them off with wings. Hard to pull off correctly at first, but those vampires are the most overpowered of the vampires if used correctly, giving a human player no time to do anything during whole sequence but to die. Also - the only vampire to have it's ALL abilites usefull in combat, as survival skills are only good for team hunt, and are mostly just waste of time, so hunting solo-humans can become a challange.

Funny thing is, I saw one solo scout in the middile of the map fending off all the vampires, while other humans camped the corner. The scout could kill 2 vampires at once and fend off 3 at times :) Certain level of skill is required of course.

All the thoughts above are just my impression. I HONESTLY think that one game is not enough for me to judge the system just yet, as I saw good vampire matches. Other thing entirely, if classes within faction are not balanced... Plus, fulfilling the role of the tank does not increase your gold yield or xp. Same with jumping attack, that is mostly usefull so that other vampires can finish them off, it just piles up assists. IF playing with a good team :)

LOFO1993
12th Nov 2013, 21:45
Funny thing is, I saw one solo scout in the middile of the map fending off all the vampires, while other humans camped the corner. The scout could kill 2 vampires at once and fend off 3 at times :) Certain level of skill is required of course.

Wasn't it me?

Just joking... probably. Anyway, that's my point: the idea of the game, if I get it right, is that humans HAVE to team up to survive, because if one human alone meets a vampire he will die. That's not the case, not at all.


When I was playing as a Scout and any kind of vampire attacked me, even if I was absolutely alone, I would survive 80% of the times, also killing the attacker almost always. Even when a vampire managed to take me down he was left with such a little life that someone else from my team shot a single arrow and killed him in turns, which in a deathmatch makes killing me first quite useless if you are gonna die 99% of the times seconds after.

A Reaver? He charged me, took out half of my life, ok. In a second I was up, I threw knives at him, rolled to a side and began shooting him in the face; most of them in the meanwhile were slashing the air because of how hard is to hit anything in melee, so they ended up dying even if they attacked first and from behind.

The Tyrants were even easier, because they basically have no locked hits. Swings to the air, knives in the face, volley, dead.

I was also surprised that being drop by a Sentinel deals so little damage (the most I took was more or less half my life). You have all the time to run and/or shoot him then, so things don't change much from the former cases unless the vampire player is really skilled and manages to hit you repeatedly in various ways.



This game is amazing, seriously, but even after playing only a couple of matches I feel there is something deeply wrong with the melee, and vampires of course are the ones who suffer the most from this. You seriously have to consider reducing humans life or make vampires attack hit automatically if at range.

I mean, when I was playing as a Reaver I jumped on someone that had been jumped on moments before by another Reaver and they still didn't die half the times! What the hell do you have to do to kill a human? Two vampires had serious problem taking one human down almost all the times because of how hard is to hit without auto-aim and because even when you hit you deal about 100 of damage, the same two arrows do to you.

Psyonix_Corey
12th Nov 2013, 22:25
This is going to be an ongoing issue and it's a tough one to respond to specifically because there's so many factors at work.

First off I believe there was a bug with melee aim in this build that will be resolved in the next. It was disabling the melee aim assistance that helps a lot in connecting with humans. I'd ask that you see if you fare any better in the next session for starters.

Regarding the vulnerability of humans...
1. It feels really bad to play a faction that has absolutely no chance by themselves. We make an effort with each human to give them some way to try to escape while still being at a disadvantage when solo. That said, if the Scout in particular is *too* effective on his own (and our metrics back that up) we'll definitely make some changes. For starters I've increased the cooldown on Throwing Knives by a few seconds and lowered the damage slightly for the next build.
2. Melee was intentionally de-powered somewhat during development because it was too easy. We found (particularly with newer players) that Vampires could faceroll just dropping in and spamming melee attacks, not even bothering to use abilities. We saw a noticeable improvement in match parity by shifting some Vampire damage out of melee and into abilities like Pounce, Jump, and Kidnap (which ideally have more of a skill curve to be dominant with than pure melee). It also increases class variety and playstyle to increase reliance on ability use over melee attacks. That said, I understand as a net result that melee doesn't feel super powerful. We'll keep an eye on it.

The real challenge going forward is going to be identifying issues that arise at extreme skill levels, particularly for human players. We've playtested this game a long time but are a fundamentally small sample size. There will be teams of human players who get so good at the game that they may break certain systems and we'll have to find ways to balance that without affecting the power of newer or lower skill players.

Scout in particular has an extremely high skill ceiling so he's likely to be a problem child :)

LOFO1993
13th Nov 2013, 00:18
I perfectly understand what you mean, the game must be balanced for everyone, not only for the really good or the really bad players. Only trying to help for what I can, and happy to see you share my thoughts.

I'm not a professional level player, but I certainly played a lot of shooters and I'm good at those, so I guess it's normal for me to feel more comfortable with humans. Just only reducing the knives throwing cooldown in my opinion will help a lot, because that was almost too easy, I could shoot a diffuse hit dealing a ton of damage every 8 seconds, far more then enemies needed to take me down if I tried to dodge.

I'm also very happy to hear the melee combat system I used is not the one supposed to be in the game. If that gets even just a bit better, I would say the balance overall will improve quite much and the game will become near to perfect for how it's meant to work.


I must say that you've done a really great job so far, because even if I immediately thought there were some tweaks to be done I really enjoyed to keep on playing, both as a vampire and as a human, even when we were losing and I was dying a lot. Good job guys.

Syst3mzero
13th Nov 2013, 18:54
So funny, in one of the other threads I mentioned that as human you can run backwards and dodge backwards to keep ahead of reavers chasing you. I went 1v1 and one time took no damage at all, once I got pounced during the chase but when I got up I kept running and eventually won, most the time in battle I'm using this technique as a human and I knew it worked in teams I was just so surprised I could win a 1v1 with a reaver.

My suggestion is a 5-10% base speed advantage for reavers, its just a bit sad that a vampire that has enough leg power to jump half the map has such a hard time outpacing a human that is running backwards.

LOFO1993
13th Nov 2013, 20:12
So funny, in one of the other threads I mentioned that as human you can run backwards and dodge backwards to keep ahead of reavers chasing you. I went 1v1 and one time took no damage at all, once I got pounced during the chase but when I got up I kept running and eventually won, most the time in battle I'm using this technique as a human and I knew it worked in teams I was just so surprised I could win a 1v1 with a reaver.


My technique exactly, way too easy. Most the times it felt like I was fighting dumb AI bots. No offence meant to players, when I was the vampire I looked exactly the same, swinging the air multiple times while being shot by a one meter away human running backwards.

Syst3mzero
13th Nov 2013, 21:23
My technique exactly, way too easy. Most the times it felt like I was fighting dumb AI bots. No offence meant to players, when I was the vampire I looked exactly the same, swinging the air multiple times while being shot by a one meter away human running backwards.

Luckily I don't play like that as a reaver, knowing thats how the fight is going to go down I run and regroup, a few quick corners and up a building or up a short building and I disappear, I'd rather keep the death count down if I cant win the battle, its better to win the war ;)

Psyonix_Corey
13th Nov 2013, 22:59
Backwards dodge is too effective right now. We're looking into it.

Syst3mzero
14th Nov 2013, 00:06
Backwards dodge is too effective right now. We're looking into it.

thanks :)

Xaragoth
14th Nov 2013, 02:08
Funny thing is, I saw one solo scout in the middile of the map fending off all the vampires, while other humans camped the corner. The scout could kill 2 vampires at once and fend off 3 at times :) Certain level of skill is required of course.

That sounds suspiciously like Mark and his god damn War Bow >.> Also I hate you and Strike for the constant Sentinel Cheese Combos I have to endure :P


I noticed a lot of problems with connecting hits in the last patch as well. A lot of times hits don't even register even if you smack someone straight in the face with your fist. If that is due to the aim-assist on melee being off, I'd suggest to turn that back on soon.

I haven't really had any problems with the backwards rolling thus far personally, but the Sprint Perk made me wanting to fly to Psyonix and shout at someone really loudly in German until they remove that one. They can just run away after being nearly dead! AND YOU CAN'T KEEP UP EVEN IF YOU CLIMB EVERYTHING LIKE A MONKEY. And by the time you reach them again, they healed up and you are still low HP.


On the other hand I'd like to notion caution - a lot of the players right now have nearly no or only temporary equipment available to them. Most just kinda try all kinds of guns and abilities but don't perma-unlock because they play a lot of classes at once. I know from my early Tyrant gameplay that having all skills to pick from makes a class extremly powerful in a lot of cases. Getting Enrage on a Tyrant that already has Shockwave and Leap/Charge makes for a monster you don't want to face 1v1.

I'd say by Q1 2014 there is going to be more solid sample data and experience within the testing groups to really evaluate the problems a lot more. A lot right now comes from 3h sessions and gut-feeling.

Strike5150
14th Nov 2013, 09:29
I will have to go with Xara on this one :). Humans feel overpowered because most of the new players are coming from other shooters and have an easy time adjusting to playing as a human.

I also hate it when the humans run faster than me :). I don't feel the humans are overpowered, at least not so much that we need to do anything about it in a huge way. Small adjustments here and there to take away things that are a obviously broken such as the scout examples you have mentioned.

Example:
I think Xara, Balantin(ransom) and me played with one member of Psyonix, and we were against a human squad that was also very good. We wrecked them, mostly because Balantin is an amazing sentinal but also because we all have played quite a few sessions and are getting better at playing Vamps. I believe Balantin racked up 25k+ damage in that match, and it ended early with 40 kills. Yikes.

There are a few things you can do as vamps that help make this work. I will use standard skill examples.
Sentinal: You need to stay low and swoop around corners, don't fly like a duck. The other option is fly very high and swoop almost straight down to land a grab, this has the added bonus of giving you a speed boost to fly away with your prey.

Reaver: Smoke or poison grenade will split the humans up. Reaver should immediately pop his evasion if his teammates didn't come to the rescue after the pounce and run away. You are not going to kill a well prepared scout by slapping your arms in his face. Don't run like an ostrich. Run like rabbit, and dive roll.

Tyrant: Charge off a roof or around a corner, don't come from 5 miles in a straight line and expect success. When the humans are standing together you can charge in hit them all pop your stun, then go iron skin and run away. You just landed 3-5 seconds worth of stun and lost very little health, plus you did a lot of damage.

Humans when they are under good cover with all 4 members of the team watching each others backs and reacting fast to reavers are a bit like a castle with walls. So you are very likely to feed a few kills and get nothing for it. If you do happen to get a good initiate though the vamps can mop up and keep mopping up for a little while after, when the humans are trying to regroup.

Xaragoth
14th Nov 2013, 11:08
Humans when they are under good cover with all 4 members of the team watching each others backs and reacting fast to reavers are a bit like a castle with walls. So you are very likely to feed a few kills and get nothing for it. If you do happen to get a good initiate though the vamps can mop up and keep mopping up for a little while after, when the humans are trying to regroup.

What do you do when there's a wall?

You Leap it :P