Company of Heroes: Eastern Front

Author Topic: faction v faction balance  (Read 10507 times)

Offline krupp steel

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faction v faction balance
« on: November 10, 2014, 02:42:38 AM »
I think that there is some balancing issues when the eastern front factions don't go against eachother, but with the vCoh or OF factions. Lets start with USSR:

USSR is very weak against the panzer elite, esp their blobs. Early PG blobs w/ g43s decimate 4 conscripts and command squad. Snipers become a necessity in this case. Especially when they are faced against blobs of mp44 4-man PGs, strelky, conscripts, and even guards just melt like butter.

USSR however, they are fairly balanced against wehrmacht because of the long time they faced eachother while the ostheer was still in development

The ostheer overall is much more powerful than the vcoh/of factions they are against, for many reasons.

Ostheer is extremely powerful against the british. 2 sturmpioneer squads wreck a single tommy squad. Landsers can go one on one with brit troops and can be spammed only being 270 mp while brits have 450 mp squads that barley are able to defeat them.

Ostheer are also very powerful agianst americans simply because landsers are better infantry for the same/lower cost. The sturmpioneers almost always win against engies, and can go one on one with riflesquads when they are positioned right (green/building cover).

There is much more to be said but these are just the facts that immediately come to mind.
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chaosval3

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 03:43:54 AM »
Right, where to start. These are not 'facts'. No offense, but I really dislike it when people say that balance concerns of theirs consist of 'facts'.

It has been said many times that we won't touch vanilla or OF factions. We would only add our factions to the game and perhaps add some optional extras in the form of reward units. PE and Brits have, in my opinion that I share with many players from the team and other teams, some really dull and lacking design decisions. Instant suppression abilities even on retreat, instant crippling abilities, turtling playstyle, really weird cost-gameplay mechanics to some units, lack of snipers( which can be argued about from multiple perspectives), kettenpushing, near unbeatable lategame due to powerful and spammable tanks, group zeal, three times the same tank in a doctrine( lack of creativity) etc.. The list goes on and on and on. Some stuff could be tweaked statistically, but that will probably open up other gaps. (If you know about each one to what I am referring to, I will give you the biggest cookie known to mankind)

With that said about OF, the vanilla factions which have much more care and attention put into their design, are pretty similar to EF's really. Ostheer shares a ton of similarities with Americans and so do Soviets with Wehrmacht.

If I were to put it bluntly, OS= AMIs in playstyle, but with in my opinion better lategame and SU=Wehrmacht in playstyle with differences in units.

From my past experiences, Landsers vs Rifles is pretty much 50/50. It's a similar setup with Volks vs Rifles. Landsers win long range, rifles on medium and close range unupgraded etc... Also, going BARs versus Landser blobs is pretty amazing since you can almost instantly suppress them with suppressive fire. Really, Landsers might be slightly better in cqc on the long run with higher levels of vet, but BARs or even an Ami mg team can do wonders against OH.

Personally, and I think in the balance team as well (correct me if I am wrong :P), the issues with the OF/EF factions match-ups are mostly due to the mediocre design of the OF factions. I am pretty much convinced that solving the problem would be in the OF factions. (Seriously, 450 manpower starting squad... Sh*t, I quit! I'm out!)

« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 03:56:30 AM by chaosval3 »

Offline Blackbishop

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 06:33:18 AM »
Well... brits vs ostheer or soviets vs pe inbalances are supposed to be fixed. However, it seems the balance is done with vanilla factions and of are ignored because it would be hard due to their special features.

Although if some EF units share vanilla armour, balancers wouldn't change them.
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Offline Hendrik 'DarcReaver' S.

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 06:59:23 AM »
Had not enough games or decent players to determine stats balance of OF vs. EF factions. Will look into the topic sometime. Although I think US vs. Ostheer and soviets vs. PE wasn't that bad in earlier versions. Maybe the XP change on Conscripts makes it to easy for PE to get veterancy blobs.  Ostheer vs. brits is fucked, tho, I agree. But I'm actually not sure why, as Landsers share a lot of stats from Volks, and Volks aren't that great against tommies. Maybe there are some buggy target tables somewhere. Sturmpios are intented to be powerful. They're 3men Wehr pio squads, so you can measure their strength that way: 2 sturmpios = 3 wehr pios.

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Offline krupp steel

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 07:08:39 AM »
I think YOU are missing the point.

It has been said many times that we won't touch vanilla or OF factions. We would only add our factions to the game and perhaps add some optional extras in the form of reward units.

Personally, and I think in the balance team as well (correct me if I am wrong :P), the issues with the OF/EF factions match-ups are mostly due to the mediocre design of the OF factions. I am pretty much convinced that solving the problem would be in the OF factions. (Seriously, 450 manpower starting squad... Sh*t, I quit! I'm out!)
I have never said in my statement that the non-EF factions should be touched. Maybe you haven't been around the forum early enough to notice that when a suggestion topic arises that involves tweaking non-EF factions, I am quick to shoot it down for the very reason listed above. I will expand upon what I know; maybe you misread and didn't know that the solutions to improve the balance don't always require one to modify the vCoH/OF faction. Instead, one can tweak the EF factions with a variety of options such as modifying their weapons against certain types of armor (Soldier Armor, Infantry Regular, Elite). An example would include modifying/giving the Landsers a rifle that does much less damage against Soldier Armor in-comparison to Infantry Regular (this is how Relic balanced Volksgrenadiers, so that they were toe-to-toe against Riflemen, but horrible against the extremely expensive Infantry Sections).

No offense, but I really dislike it when people say that balance concerns of theirs consist of 'facts'.

Your telling me that I should not back up my balance claims with facts? So instead I should do so with opinions? So what I should just mindlessly state opinions like "I hate fighting against storm troopers, they are best infantry in game they need to be nerf-ed" (Not necessarily do I believe this blunt statement) without proving evidence or some shit like that. I would be happy to expand on what I say, knowing that they certainly are not quickly-imagined/thought-up opinions but instead or facts supported by evidence.

PE and Brits have, in my opinion that I share with many players from the team and other teams, some really dull and lacking design decisions.

With that said about OF, the vanilla factions which have much more care and attention put into their design, are pretty similar to EF's really. Ostheer shares a ton of similarities with Americans and so do Soviets with Wehrmacht.

See how opinion negatively affects balance? Just because in your opinion you DISLIKE or HATE on some factions doesn't mean that they don't deserve fair balance. Notice that you seem to over-exaggerate on some of your claims.

Instant suppression abilities even on retreat

There are no multiple ABILITIES for instant suppression even ON-RETREAT, it is only the Panzer Elite G43 Panzer Grenadiers with the G43 upgrade (50 munitions) and 20 munitions, in addition it has a long cool-down and does little damage. For it to be actually useful and on retreating squads, you require combined arms, OR strategy/skill (such as the usage of flanking Assault Grenadiers or AC's), to do decent damage in order to utterly annihilate the squad. Its not like you click the button and they are doomed.

Instant suppression abilities even on retreat, instant crippling abilities, turtling playstyle, really weird cost-gameplay mechanics to some units, lack of snipers( which can be argued about from multiple perspectives), kettenpushing, near unbeatable lategame due to powerful and spammable tanks, group zeal, three times the same tank in a doctrine( lack of creativity) etc.. The list goes on and on and on. Some stuff could be tweaked statistically, but that will probably open up other gaps. (If you know about each one to what I am referring to, I will give you the biggest cookie known to mankind)

There are only 3 other instant crippling abilities, and it seems you also seem to overlook the extra steps into getting the most out of them OR the point where you ACTUALLY have access to them. Tread breaker is given to the extremley weak AT-halftrack to actually make it useful (The AT Half-track barely is able to destroy an M8 Skirted at range, and the shells hardly penetrate the armor of a M3-Stuart).

Officer artillery requires the following: LT, 150 munitions, 2 CPs, sight. Most of the time, this ability is only useful for stopping incoming blobs, and generally it won't do much other than force retreat/suppress/kill a few guys (it is only severely damaging when the person you are playing against is a newbie).

Churchills, like officer artillery, are doctrinal. In addition, they cost 600 manpower and generally they are very weak to infantry, especially late game. They are ONLY good early game as an emergency unit, however late-game Axis Tanks decimate it, even AT infantry, which is why they are given the suppression ability to make it less weak and more useful.

Kettenpushing is not something new, so that claim is void. This is available to all factions. Motorcycles, Jeeps, Brencarriers, tanks, light vehicles, etc. are able to perform this trick. The only exception is that they are able to decape, however it risks the kettens lives and will only be successfully pulled off by skilled CoH players (requires lots of micro to do so).

Turtling play style is only given to the Brits. In high level games, turtling is a joke for the British players. Most British players who turtle are inevitably doomed when playing high level games. At beginner levels, it may be different as many newbies believe that charging troops straight onto their defense will be the only solution. In order to win as Brits, people generally need to be more aggressive. Brit blobs are with vetted lieutenants are significantly stronger than a static defense Sim-city.

When you are referring to powerful spam-able tanks, than I assume you are referring to PE's panther battle-group. This ability is often overrated, especially to many Allied fan-boys. It is OPINION that you believe these 2 tanks are "unbeatable". They certainly are not. It takes significantly more resources to tech to Panther battle-group and another 1000 manpower and 24 population to activate the ability itself. In comparison, Allied units, for much less resources required, can counter the battle-group via AT infantry, AT guns, mines, and so forth. Meaning, if a PE player risked all for this one ability, but becomes become pop capped, this ability is no longer useful and will become a hindrance overall until it is able to be active. By no means is this ability spam-able unless one has floated significant amounts of manpower. For one reason, it requires 24 population each call in. Most likely if you are playing a 2v2/1v1 map, there won't be an extra pop cap for one to spam lots of panthers (unless you have taken the entire map in which you deserve a win anyways or you have an extreme shortage of infantry/vehicles).

Lack of creativity? That statement is very hypocritical. The abilities listed above may not have been mind-blowing in terms of creativity, but it was not repetitive compared to some other components in the EF. Snipers, MG Teams, Mortars crews, etc. are just a few that come to mind (These are all available to the Ostheer, Soviet Union, USA, Wehrmacht, and the Brits except for the sniper). After all, an ability to call in panthers instead of building one straight out from one of the base buildings is what makes it 'more creative' than the boring alternative. However, there are cases where lack of creativity is the necessity for balance reasons, so there are exceptions.

From my past experiences, Landsers vs Rifles is pretty much 50/50. It's a similar setup with Volks vs Rifles. Landsers win long range, rifles on medium and close range unupgraded etc... Also, going BARs versus Landser blobs is pretty amazing since you can almost instantly suppress them with suppressive fire. Really, Landsers might be slightly better in cqc on the long run with higher levels of vet, but BARs or even an Ami mg team can do wonders against OH.

I see you have missed the point again. Landsers cost 10 manpower LESS than Volksgrenadiers yet do a much better job against dealing with riflemen and being as a better infantry type overall. Instead of being better than similar unit that is 10 MP more expensive, it should be a little worse. Ofcourse Riflemen with BARs will be powerful regardless of which faction they are up against. Suppressive fire also works wonders as expected, however there are only few occasions where a player is justified to charge a stationary BAR rifleman squad. Knights Cross, Stormtroopers with MP44s, Volks, it doesn't matter which squad or what blob you use it against (Yes, even vet 3 KCH) suppressive fire is known for doing such thing. One simply does not blob Landsers, even with MP40s. You shouldn't have more than 3-4 squads in a game.
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Offline krupp steel

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 07:14:00 AM »
Sturmpios are intented to be powerful. They're 3men Wehr pio squads, so you can measure their strength that way: 2 sturmpios = 3 wehr pios.
They are more powerful than 3 wehr pio squads. Their Mp41s from the Ostheer do more damage and have more power, and having an overall larger squad size makes them much more survivable. You don't have to worry about having another one squad to blob up together, 3 squads constantly bunched up is more tedious than having just 2 sturmpioneer squads together.
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Offline Hendrik 'DarcReaver' S.

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 10:49:15 AM »
Sturmpios are intented to be powerful. They're 3men Wehr pio squads, so you can measure their strength that way: 2 sturmpios = 3 wehr pios.
They are more powerful than 3 wehr pio squads. Their Mp41s from the Ostheer do more damage and have more power, and having an overall larger squad size makes them much more survivable. You don't have to worry about having another one squad to blob up together, 3 squads constantly bunched up is more tedious than having just 2 sturmpioneer squads together.

Don't underestimate the power of Wehr pios. 3 Wehr pios will beat an infantry section from brits on close range, too, unless there's a lieut around. Ofc if the tommies Focus fire properly it's hard for pios to actually reach them. Ofc it's a bit more mircro, but still possible.

The mp41 Shares the same stats as the weapon Crew mp40s. The mp41 is just different in terms of optics. Or at least I set them up like that in the past. I'll check the stats when I get home, but I'm quite sure that they're like regular pio weapons at the Moment. If not I'll adjust them ofc.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 10:59:50 AM by Hendrik 'DarcReaver' S. »

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Offline krupp steel

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 01:59:20 PM »
Yes what I am saying is that a 2 man squad ofcourse is much weaker than a 3 man squad. Especially since Tommies can focus one unit or snipe a guy, it becomes a huge factor. There is a difference between a 2 man squad and a 3 man squad charging tommies, one guy can be sniped and they would be forced to retreat. Lose 1 guy, automatic retreat. That means focus fire makes 3 wehr pios inefficient while 2 sturms much more. For sturms, they can lose 2 men before retreating, applying to both squads so most likley they would be able to not have a squad retreat before killing or doing decent damage to the tommies.
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chaosval3

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 11:26:21 PM »
IIRC, the term 'fact' is still based on human perception. From my perspective, OF factions tried to hard to be creative and have made some very questionable design choices. Sure, it doesn't mean we shouldn't overlook them as they are part of the mod, but all I am saying is that, from my point of view, it won't really fix the problem.

I guess tweaking a few stats won't hurt here and there, but still, it wouldn't really solve the issues these factions have. Also, your point came across clearly. I am just saying what I think, but it seems you are convinced that the fault lies with our factions. I suppose Darc will check it for ya :)


Offline Carlos Danger

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 09:54:26 AM »
The British faction's fundamental design is absolutely awful and the Panzer Elite's design isn't exactly great. People have been saying this for years. The game can't be effectively balanced as long as these two factions exist in their current forms in the game. Fact.

Offline maddogb

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 03:16:54 PM »
The British faction's fundamental design is absolutely awful and the Panzer Elite's design isn't exactly great. People have been saying this for years. The game can't be effectively balanced as long as these two factions exist in their current forms in the game. Fact.

The question is not about balancing units or factions, its about balancing the game.
For example my friend is (no offence mate) the worst RTS player i have ever seen yet he manages to beat me regularly as he only ever plays brits and we like to play with no pop cap which is the thing that stops the brits spamming with AVRSs, M18 And fireflys.
Once he has those three tanks in a squad i am mashed whatever the side i play unless he sits back and lets me mine the map.

to balance factions one must first look at the game, and as there are so many variations of the game from VP capture to anihilate with no popcap its perhaps time to see if logical balancing per faction can be applied to sides based on the game being played

chaosval3

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2014, 04:49:55 PM »
Plus, there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration apart from only design. Factors such as micro, macro, overall awareness, predictions, mind games so forth and so on. Most of you know this anyway.
If you look at the original COH factions, there is very little room for convenience. It is all about microing your soldiers and choosing the correct teching at the right time for US as well as Wehr. PE and Brits got rid of a large amount of these things. As Amis, when facing heavy Wehr inf tactics and strats, people just tech back for a WSC for a sniper. Brits decide to get rid of snipers by slapping a cheap sniper ability on a 450 manpower starting squad and +50 munitions for the oncoming infantry sections. Seriously, non doctrinal heavy artillery, a cheaper Sherman on crack( Cromwell), an AT tank that outperforms the Panther while cheaper etc. Basically, when you get to that point and your adversary lets you, you should have that game in the bag. To me, Brits are the real late game tank faction in the game. I only know of 2 things when facing Brits:
1. Blatant dullness
2. Frustration

PE atleast have a more COH favoured playstyle being more aggressive and more mobile. Out of the 2, I prefer PE hands down. Still, the instant suppression of G43s, instant kill teller mines, Group Zeal that's extremely powerful, a small AT halftrack that can cripple an IS-2 and snipe infantry, a lategame mainstay builable tank that is anti-infantry only (lol) just feels like poor design to me.

It almost feels like they designed the OF factions for campaign instead of multiplayer unlike the VCOH factions have very intricate mechanics. I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. Just look at how many people play Vanilla COH and how many play OF only. Look at the majority of the casting channels. One of my personal favourites, The Frontline Network, even majorly refused to cast anything OF related because they share the opinion of OF gameplay being crap. 

Honestly, it doesn't take an amazing player to see that these factions have middling and uninspiring designs. From my point of view, we would have done better to just introduce EF with its own factions instead of adding it to the original factions. It's easier to balance two factions than balancing four, especially for modders. Still, this was not EF's decision. EF wanted to be like a semi-official add-on. We stuck to this moral, which I think is kind of pointless if we are not going to improve the original factions. But even in contradiction, a popular mod should stick to atleast some of its morals.


« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 04:55:22 PM by chaosval3 »

Offline Hendrik 'DarcReaver' S.

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2014, 05:41:20 PM »
Unofficial "patches" always bring up stuff that leads to Diversion and discussions whether it's necessary to Change stuff or not. While if relic Releases a patch everyone is like "Oh well it's official, so we stick with it". That's why we never bothered with improving vanilla except for adding a few reward Units and Fixing some bugs like the M10 misfire.

Afterall, EF always had a Reputation of being a "compstomp mod", and not a mod that is used for pvp multiplayer - although of course we tried to adjust this prejudice in the last Major patch Releases. And we (or I) actually hope that this game is fun when played pvp, and not only in compstomps.

So, even if the OF factions are considered to be broken we'll still adjust the EF factions to make them perform properly against them. Of course it won't be possible to Balance them perfectly, but we can make things less bad. And that's what we aim for.

Maybe, in the future if EF gets some more Attention in Terms of Player vs Player community activities we might try to adjust imbalances in vanilla that are widely accepted in the community (unlike elite mod, which changes far too much stuff imo). Maybe...

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Offline Codename "Tiger"

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2014, 06:03:38 PM »
I agree that PE vs Soviet or OH vs Brits is not fairly but just one point:
You say Landsers are too strong vs Rifles. If we make the Landsers weaker then they are balanced vs US but not any longer vs Conscripts.
The point is: Its not possible to Balance EF Factions vs every other Faction.
And like many people said already, we dont change vanilla Factions.

The only thing we can do is:
Finding and testing out strategies for EF Factions vs OF Factions.
Thats my opinion.

It is possible to win with every Faction if you play right. Yes, PE and Brits are broken at some points but you can counter every Unit
even if its difficult. If you cant handle a PE blob -> get vehicles, lay down mine, get MGs and so on.

Offline maddogb

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Re: faction v faction balance
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2014, 08:30:28 PM »

It is possible to win with every Faction if you play right.

struggling to agree with that apart from luck which a true rts game should not be about, try taking down an avre which has its rear covered with a couple of firefly's or brit at emplacments from a  distance, simply cannot be done with any german side