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Hosted Projects - FS2 Required => The Aftermath: Reboot => Topic started by: CT27 on May 04, 2020, 04:59:29 pm

Title: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 04, 2020, 04:59:29 pm
Most of the issues I've seen people have with TBG so far have been about game balance/difficulty (I know there have been plot issues as well but I want to focus on this one issue first).  For what it's worth I'm trying to talk to Herkie about it.


I'm not a technical designer (I primarily worked on plot writing...though I also was a tester for a while), but I can think of some possible ways to help things:


1-Reduce the health of the enemy Horuses and Serapises by half (I don't have a problem with newer Vasudan fighters being tough...but older models like this even if they've had an upgrade should not be as tough to crack as they are IMO.  On Very Easy a Serapis ate five Trebs from me once...)

2-Reduce the number of enemy fighters and bombers

3-Allow the player to have access to Widowmaker missiles more often (I know I said Herkie doesn't like them anymore but maybe he'll change his mind if enough want this)

4-Make a new more powerful primary weapon for the player


I know these won't likely solve all of the difficulty/balance issues but I think they should address most of what you have said.




Which of these options would you prefer (or which ones if you want to pick multiple choices) or do you have other suggestions?

Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Nightmare on May 04, 2020, 05:49:55 pm
Perhabs you should make this a poll?
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Su-tehp on May 04, 2020, 11:38:11 pm
Wait, wait, wait...a friggin Serapis, those notoriously fragile Zod hang gliders, took FIVE TREBUCHETS to die?! On Very Easy difficulty??? :wtf: :eek2: :wtf:

Yeeeeeah...I'm not sure, but I think that's probably an indication that (several) something(s) is/are out of whack. :nono:
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: tomimaki on May 05, 2020, 06:12:44 am
Serapis normally has 220 hitpoints and 200 shield, in TBG - 1000 for both, so no suprise? ;)
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Madeye on May 05, 2020, 01:40:45 pm
Wait, wait, wait...a friggin Serapis, those notoriously fragile Zod hang gliders, took FIVE TREBUCHETS to die?! On Very Easy difficulty??? :wtf: :eek2: :wtf:

Yeeeeeah...I'm not sure, but I think that's probably an indication that (several) something(s) is/are out of whack. :nono:

Yeah, one should consider checking if they survive helios strike   ;)
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Nightmare on May 05, 2020, 02:01:48 pm
Wait, wait, wait...a friggin Serapis, those notoriously fragile Zod hang gliders, took FIVE TREBUCHETS to die?! On Very Easy difficulty??? :wtf: :eek2: :wtf:

Yeeeeeah...I'm not sure, but I think that's probably an indication that (several) something(s) is/are out of whack. :nono:

Yeah, one should consider checking if they survive helios strike   ;)

Even normal retail fighters shuold survive a double Helios. I know Basilisks survive a single Cyclops w/o even noticing it.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Nightmare on May 05, 2020, 02:06:53 pm
Would changing the HP of Vasudan fighters alter the balance of TF1 too? I don't remember how many showed up there and if that would change much.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 05, 2020, 07:15:06 pm
Would changing the HP of Vasudan fighters alter the balance of TF1 too? I don't remember how many showed up there and if that would change much.

A few Vasudan capital ships showed up once in a while to help you in AF1/Reboot but I don't remember Vasudan fighters.  If there were any I don't think it was that much (IOW changing the tables for both campaigns since they're somewhat tied together wouldn't change AF1/Reboot that much).
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: tomimaki on May 06, 2020, 05:53:20 am
Why you want change tables for both campaigns, if boosted stats for vasudan fighters are in TBG table? :wtf:
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Nightmare on May 06, 2020, 09:12:05 am
Did Herkie use seperate classes for both campaigns? I just thought you'd be able to play both campaigns with TBG active; nevermind if it was never supposed to be that way.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: 0rph3u5 on May 06, 2020, 01:00:57 pm
1-Reduce the health of the enemy Horuses and Serapises by half (I don't have a problem with newer Vasudan fighters being tough...but older models like this even if they've had an upgrade should not be as tough to crack as they are IMO.  On Very Easy a Serapis ate five Trebs from me once...)
[...]
4-Make a new more powerful primary weapon for the player

Looking at the tables for the TBG, I think it would be easiest to point to impact both is via armor.tbl. There are two armor.tbms in play here, AF-arm.tbm and TBG-arm.tbm* - and a small sampling of the ships.tbls in questions shows that all ships are assigned armour classes. So changes to either or both could carry without having to manipulate hitpoints.

*AF-arm.tbm seems to be the foundational one and and TBG-arm.tbm new additions.

All the armor-calculations appear to be multiplicative from what I saw, so it should be fairly simple to just empower weapons by changing the multipliers.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 06, 2020, 06:26:09 pm
Why you want change tables for both campaigns, if boosted stats for vasudan fighters are in TBG table? :wtf:


As far as I can tell, TBG is dependent on Reboot (Herkie had earlier said though he was going to make TBG separate from Reboot).  I thought that would mean if he wanted to change something in TBG he'd have to change it in Reboot too.  I guess though he could have put a separate asset in TBG.

I'm sorry if I'm not understanding all this correctly.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 08, 2020, 05:13:12 pm
There seems to be some disconnect between Herkie and us.  He is saying it could be the FSO version that is the problem.  Here is his messages from FB:

"These Serapis are Mark IIs are advance heavy fighters. They should read the tech database. This goes for the Horus V2. If I had new Vasudan fighter models., I wont use Serapis and the other old ones. Post this. I don't know why you have difficilties. I have a tester here who 12 years old. He says it is now too easy even in hard. I HAD actually tone down the AI difficulty factor significantly when I released it. I think its the newer FSO build. The 374 had better AI than the recommended 372. Maybe they change something in FSO 19. Please use 372 and 5.5g launcher and AVP 3612 to really see what I intended.

The new Serapis  has the same armor level as the Dark Angel. Well, after three Shivan Wars, at this point in time, things have improve."



-------------



I don't get how this could happen.  It seems like he may be playing a different game.  He says it's an easy campaign.  How could this be?  Could using a different launcher and build really change enemy health?  He says recent builds changed AI but I've played Reboot and TBG on the same build and I still encountered the noticeable difficulty difference.  As for his Serapis and Horus comments...I personally don't have a problem with them being a little stronger than their FS1 versions but they IMO (and I think most of you agree) shouldn't be as tough as they are especially since you're outnumbered in most missions.  Being outnumbered was okay in Reboot because it was high tech low # good guys vs. lower tech bad guy swarms.  Making enemies your technological peer can really change the difficulty balance as we've seen.  If the original Serapis had 220 energy/hull then I think my proposal of halving enemy health (TBG had the Serapis at 1000) would put them at 500.


Honestly I'm kind of stumped at this point.  It looks like he doesn't want to lower enemy numbers or health...however, according to this recent message from him we shouldn't have to for some reason.  He says we need to play on an older version to make the game easier (I don't know why that would change things but that's what he says apparently).  It's almost like we're all playing two different games.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: spart_n on May 08, 2020, 05:48:09 pm
there is only one, four letter word i can use to describe this update. one, four letter word that expresses my deepest emotions, how i feel about the defense for the fighters, how i feel about his twelve year old tester and how i feel about his take on the FSO builds and the differentiation between them all:

bruh
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Su-tehp on May 08, 2020, 09:47:52 pm
there is only one, four letter word i can use to describe this update. one, four letter word that expresses my deepest emotions, how i feel about the defense for the fighters, how i feel about his twelve year old tester and how i feel about his take on the FSO builds and the differentiation between them all:

bruh

That was not the four letter word (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFmnNyiXE-A) I was expecting. :lol: :p
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 11, 2020, 06:10:27 pm
there is only one, four letter word i can use to describe this update. one, four letter word that expresses my deepest emotions, how i feel about the defense for the fighters, how i feel about his twelve year old tester and how i feel about his take on the FSO builds and the differentiation between them all:

bruh

I think I get it what you're saying, but just to be sure could you clarify what you mean by "bruh"?
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: spart_n on May 11, 2020, 07:37:05 pm
it means im not at all satisfied with the response from herkie and any interest i could've had with TBG is dashed, seemingly like his own. i know technical issues: mantle is by far the most concerning technical wise full of crashes, but mantle has virtue of being a step above mediocre.

the reliance and persistence that an FSO version is what's crumping up TBG is like watching a gordon ramsey episode of restaurant owners saying their food's good; it's just ignorance of ineptitude, and the fact a 12 year old is being brought up as an argument to defend it really sells that herkie refuses to accept that TBG is full of problems

i said before that i respect herkie's decisions but the comparison? the finger pointing? i sympathize with his internet issues but my patience is waned when now it's now a "get good, a 12 year old is better than you"
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 14, 2020, 06:02:49 pm
Could someone please explain to me how Herkie's idea could even happen?  I.e., could a change in FSO build really change the difficulty of a campaign that much?  If so, how?
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Nightmare on May 14, 2020, 06:36:14 pm
There have been slight differences in how the game does stuff. Herkies build is really old... but while balancing might be difficult sometimes, it shouldn't be that something that's "easily playable" on one build suddenly changes everything, elseway there'd be many reports of such things going on where stuff has become too hard as there are many campaigns that haven't been altered much (leave alone rebalenced) over the past years (from even before the version Herkie used).
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Solatar on May 14, 2020, 07:11:18 pm
Could someone please explain to me how Herkie's idea could even happen?  I.e., could a change in FSO build really change the difficulty of a campaign that much?  If so, how?

:nervous:
http://scp.indiegames.us/mantis/view.php?id=2788

I doubt it's happening now, but difficulty-based damage scaling has been broken before, and it took some time for people to notice.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: CT27 on May 15, 2020, 04:11:07 pm
There have been slight differences in how the game does stuff. Herkies build is really old... but while balancing might be difficult sometimes, it shouldn't be that something that's "easily playable" on one build suddenly changes everything, elseway there'd be many reports of such things going on where stuff has become too hard as there are many campaigns that haven't been altered much (leave alone rebalenced) over the past years (from even before the version Herkie used).

So basically when playing the same campaign on an older build and then on a newer one, one might notice some small differences but it shouldn't transform the campaign from easy (Herkie says his 12 year old tester finds "Hard" easy) to very difficult like a lot here have said?
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: Nightmare on May 15, 2020, 06:19:52 pm
I'd take BP as example, while I think that there were some missions that were effected by changes in the engine IIRC, there was never a point where the entire campaign suddenly became unpleasant difficult.
Title: Re: Adjusting/rebalancing TBG difficulty
Post by: herkie423 on October 09, 2020, 07:29:15 am
The boy is 13 now. He's my son. Played the AF Reboot since he was 8. Even I was shocked.

Anyway, I fix the difficulty issue. It should be playable now. The trick was  just tweaking the difficulty factors like player damage, recharge rate, number of attackers allowed, and other stuff like that. There was little need to modify the missions and the ships. I will upload the update as soon as I am able. 

FOR NOW, STRICTLY PLAY IN "VERY EASY" DIFFICULTY

I tried reducing the enemy hit points like someone suggested but I results that I didn't like. My Friendly squadron destroyed the all the hostiles before an important event was triggered like an enemy destroyer comes within range. Since I don't want to respawn lost hostiles to keep the intense action going, I made the enemy fighters equal to the friendly fighters. The specs of the Serapis Mark II is almost the same as the Avalanche with 1000 hit points. But that is not always the case. Because in some missions where I need to conserve enemy fighters, I increased their hit points even more. In other instances I change their armor types in-game.

It just that players must not be detracted with "filler" hostiles, hostiles that there for setting the environment.