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Is this healthy for the game?

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Zewrath, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    So there's the idea of a "hard counter" in game design, where bringing the counter to an opposing strategy guarantees that the strategy doesn't work. Infinity technically doesn't have those, because most things are done with the rolls of dice, but you get the idea. This is in contrast to a "soft counter" which merely provides the ability to counter an enemy strategy, and it still has to be leveraged properly, and allows for counter-counter-strategies and so on.

    However, a soft counter can be very strong, or merely weak. My assessment is that KHDs aren't a strong enough soft counter to high-tier hackers.
     
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  2. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    I sincerely doubt the impulse there is constructive; it's more about cliquish games. They were treating people who argued that the 15 order limit didn't make Ariadna unplayable in a similar fashion. Certain people have opinions, and they can't handle having a discussion about it.
     
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  3. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Tweaking a couple hacking programs would be a much more practicable fix than re-adjusting all profiles' BTS values.
     
  4. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on that point, though I think long term it'll help adjust the viability of particularly Breaker guns to adjust the BTS values and also allow for more faction specific variation - e.g. Shang-Jesus with a Breaker Heavy Machine Gun would at least to me feel a bit more like a Yu Jing solution to armour cracking than the Ariadna solution of making excessively expensive bullets out of unobtanium.
     
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  5. Rejnhard

    Rejnhard Well-Known Member

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    Oh, in that case when I said "hard counter" I meant "strong counter", as I do think that consequences that I presented (building lists as counters to other lists and an arms race that may result in making factions more samey) would apply to strong counters as well. However I do accept that I may be wrong, and it is not a hill I plan to die on. Unlike defending spotlight AROs. On that hill I'm gonna fight till bullets run out and the knife breaks.
     
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  6. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Is that an autocorrect error or is the Shang-Ji the anointed savior of the State-Empire?
     
  7. Rejnhard

    Rejnhard Well-Known Member

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    Brainstorming idea: How about removing Oblivion Aro?
    Would make hackers(+) significantly more vulnerable to KHDs if they couldn't easily fry them back. Would also give Carbonite a stronger niche.
     
  8. Zewrath

    Zewrath Nordic Master

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    Well, since the thread is active again and I've gotten a lot more N4 games under my belt, a couple of things stand out to me:

    1. The links.
      I don't think I've changed my opinion much from back when I started the OP.
      I'm still of the opinion that the current link bonuses, coupled with the mix-n-match system is unhealthy and terrible for the game and it's even more obnoxious when it's on a MSV-Sniper platform that locks down the vast majority of the table.
      This means the game is often reduced attempting to bruteforce that BS18+ ARO piece down, which leaves you lost with out paddles should you fail that FtF roll and lose your only model that can somewhat reliably remove a linked sniper.
      With all that said though, I don't mind the concept of having mixed links, I do mind the poor execution of some of the mixed links.

    2. The hacking.
      Jesus Christ the hacking is in a terrible spot and honestly, with the handling of Hacking and other elements, while comparing it to nerf to Jammers, it saddens me to say that it is now definitive that CB do not understand their own ecosystem of power, nor do they understand WHY something is too powerful.
      Oblivion was one of the most hated ARO mechanics from Hacking in N3 (before KHD) and I will never understand how the B2 + AP and giving it to LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE NORMAL HD got greenlighted in the first place, I called this as a mistake from the very start and I can't say that I've been proven wrong.
      In my opinion, Oblivion should only be on HD+ and as upgrades on specific profiles (preferably mostly on infiltrators, who used to have AHD before).

      As it stands now Oblivion, coupled with reliable Pitchers/Infiltrating Repeaters, utterly nullifies any HI Lt.'s.
      I never forget my first ever N4 game with White Banner, where I wanted to experiment a little with a link of Shang-Ji Multi-Rifle Lt., Shang-Ji APHMG + Tinbot, 2 Line Infantry Hackers and a Paramedic.
      As a blue eyed naïve player coming fresh from N3, I thought to myself that -6 Tinbot + Firewall and BTS6 would provide decent protection against hacking and my Lt. should be pretty safe from being Smart Missiled as well.
      Along comes Karolis and places his Corregidor army and on his 2nd or 3rd order (can't exactly remember), he shoots out 2 Pitchers that "slices" my link and proceeds to Isolate my Lt. in a single order, while the repeater was shot on a building above, 3 mm from the edge, meaning that the link could never gain LOF to the repeater without moving and getting hacked.
      This was a link that did everything it could to be "hacking proof" and it was embarrassing how easy it was to disassemble and to this day I have never picked anything else but the Guilang Lt. in White Banner, the army is unplayable without that option when you consider all the DZ-landing monsters N4 have introduced as well as the hacking.

    3. Supernatural Links.
      This ties in with the points above but I do think they need a special mention because this isn't about Pitchers nor hacking programms.
      This is about linked Hackers having Sixth Sense; it's absolutely toxic and it is detrimental against so many armies but especially those who rely on Stealth.
      A good example of this: Try playing Corregidor with Morans or White Banner with Minelayer Guilangs against Steel Phalanx.
      There's something entirely wrong when Achilies gets utterly cucked into a corner in his DZ, because he's basically stuck there until the Hackers or the hard-to-reach Repeaters have been dealt with, along with the fact that Spotlight spamming essentially negates their whole shtick of relying on Mimitism -6.
      The problem with Sixth Sense Links isn't only Hacking, it also have bad interactions with MSV1 units, where your MSV1 unit basically cheats his way to having access to a much, much more expensive MSV2 by shooting through Smoke and ignoring the -6 MOD if the enemy decides to shoot back.
      In my opinion, the 4th link bonus should be changed from granting Sixth Sense to grant immunity to Surprise Attacks and no -3 MOD from Dodging out of LOF, which should be specified in the link team PDF.

    4. Camo value.
      This isn't talked about much and I suspect that it's either because Hacking and Guided is getting all the attention or people are simply adamant in peddling the false narrative of Ariadna being a "weak army" so they aren't actually playing the army proper.
      However, this has absolutely no basis in reality.
      In N3, Vanilla Ariadna was basically a "figured out" army, which meant that 85% of the army was a cookie cutter standard list and the remaining 15% was either experimental or ITS specific, so it wasn't uncommon for Ariadna players to build a list that could do 5 missions and have a second list that was only for a specific mission (like Highly Classified) or a very specific counter, so In other words, N3 Vanilla Ariadna was dangerously close to being a mono-build army.
      Sadly this syndrome have only returned tenfold in N4 where a fully optimised list can be summarized as; 'an invisible courtesy list with 15+ camo markers and a Rape-Bear".
      Pairing the Rape-Bear along with a Strelok + K9, means that every Minefield / Koala you claim "counters" this become entirely irrelevant, that along with the multiple non-interactive DZ-landing monsters they can land from the first order, makes it trivial for them to do assination runs, and once they are done your enemy is left with nothing to shoot on the board because it's all hidden and is then tasked to deal with angry furries before they do anything else
      Bear in it mind, this isn't a dig at Ariadna only, other armies can do this (although not as well) but the core problem is the fact that N4 meta forces this type of list building and it's boring as hell because it's almost exactly what everyone hated with the uninteractive nature of N2 camo spam (minus the normal rolls of course but with some units it's essentially no different from being normal rolls).

    5. Baffling decisions.
      A bit broad but I touched this issue very briefly on the second point, but it concerns the type of ammo/weapon on certain profiles/weapons.
      I mentioned that I cannot believe how they handled the Jammer nerf when you compare it with the Oblivion buff and how I no longer believe CB knows what makes mechanics good or bad.
      Take for example the Jammer. I only had 3 issues with Jammer in N3:

      1. When it came with a 5 point WIP15 dogged smoke-mule that came with 2 types of large DTW
      2. It benefitted from link bonuses, effectively making Spec-ops a meme format arguably a ruining factor for the Interplanetario that held that format, not to mention the interaction with Sixth Sense, Delay and Holo1
      3. You couldn't use Blackout to disable it, as it wasn't Comms Equipment.

      CB adressed the first two issues but decided to basically kill the weapon with massive nerfs on top of the justified fixes and for what reason, exactly?
      Why do Jammer get that treatment but then introduce Eraser, not only on a link but on a 5 point model that does exactly the same as the Jammer did but much, much worse?

      Why give weapons like Flash Pulse, that were already too good, buffs? Did anyone ask for DA on the Flash Pulse?

      Why remove the positive range bands for Smoke Grenades LGL but keep the positive rangebands for the Pitcher?

      Speaking of grenade launchers, what was the thought process behind removing the positive rangebands? I ask as I'm genuinely currious, because it appears to me that someone thought it would be a bad idea to combine the positive rangeband + link and the new Spotlight mechanic, which (if true) kinda makes sense but why then do you allow Guided to blast people on 18's, with a weapon that ignores cover and have AP+DA? Was this because of the negative feedback of certain armies that used grenade launchers + X-Visor? Because they are literally unaffected by this change.

      Why does Spotlight have -3 MOD to Reset? I actually understand the other programs having eaten through your software, making it harder to Reset, but why Spotlight?


    As the current situation with N4 stands, I'm deeply worried about the game because the combination of the factors above means that Infinity feels less like a competitve game to me, when you're both running optimised lists you basically take turns in having an awful time while the opponent either negates everything you have on the board or use zero risk tactics.
    I know I keep using the Hearthstone comparrison a lot but this is really like when the DK Anduin Priest, Quest Rogue and Face Hunter was meta.
    Essentially those three decks made one of worst metas in Hearthstone because what they did was rush to finish their win condition or go straight to face, which was insanely boring because those decks literally never interacted with your board so they played essentially their own game, reducing the game to who drew their win condition first.

    The other reason I use the Hearthstone comparison is because no other decks could compete with them, so many clases became non-existant, not because they were bad but they couldn't compete with those three decks.
    Take for example Aconcentimento, they are a non-existing army in a serious meta/tournament.
    On paper, it's a solid army that have many fantastic units and attack pieces and TAG's but they have no Lt.'s and cannot exist in the current meta.
    If you take a Regular, then you will either get nuked from orbit and rely on a PH10 Dodge or get mauled by the numerous DZ monsters introduced in N4.
    If you go with an Orc Lt. then you're pretty safe(ish) from the nuke orbit strategy but then it becomes insanely trivial for the opponent to just isolate you, ruin your link bonus and pick apart the rest.
    In fact, the majority of Acon will cease to exist, once your opponent place 1 or 2 key Repeaters in your DZ due to how Acon lists are constructed and generally very hackable and this is what I mean with Acon being like the other classes in Hearthstone, where it isn't bad by any means but will totally buckle by the dominant decks.

    All in all, I just want some balance fixes in this game and no one with a straight face can tell me that armies like USARF, ISS, Ikari etc. can hold any candle to any of the top tier army, nor can they tell me that they are properly designed with N4 in mind.

    THE POSITIVE SIDE THO
    Like 90% of the negatives can be entirely vindicated and changed for better via the Army and the PDF containing the rules for Link teams, which means that if CB are willing to change some profiles, links, armies, AVA. etc. then it's MUCH less rigid since much of it is not on hard print (some is but again, the potential to fix overall balance outweighs this).
    This is also ties well with the "Living Rulebook" CB have been talking much about, which I actually believe a lot in because CB do actually appear to care a lot about feedback and having private chats with the people behind the rules, they seem to be very knowlegdable about what currently trends on forums, which I think is a very positive thing.

    Anyways, thanks for reading, holy cow this was much longer than what I expected.
     
  9. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

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    If it's any consolation it seems like the general consensus in this thread is that something is indeed wrong with N4, the disagreement is largely over what exactly is the breaking point and how to fix it.
     
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  10. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    while a problem it isnt THE problem, and is pretty much the only hack you can use in ARO to stop a high end HI or tag before it makes it into your DZ blows you away.

    The main problem is that while you may win a F2F you can't stick the damage roll which means you cannot effectivly defend against an enemy hacker in reactive which leads to non-interactive gameplay and negative play experiences.

    Which leads to 2 points of issue;

    1. Damage values on Trinity and Carbonite are too low
    2. BTS values can and often are pushed too high through factors outside of the base profile

    So to remedy this there few easy options;

    1. buff the damage on the relevant programs, quick and easy but can push people further to taking the apex hackers and leaving the lower end behind as they would become virtually unusable.

    2. add a second murder program that has higher damage but is harder to win with (basically the ML to trinity's combi) to put the fear of god in the high end hackers while being not particularly worth it against the low end.

    3. add a icebreaker program as mentioned previously to essentially soften up the target to make it easier to put down, kind of like a 1, 2 punch similar to how guided and spotlight interact, either as a spotlight style program or a supportware to be run to buff khds.

    4. Allow KHDs to bypass firewalls, biggest issue here beyond some peoples kneejerk reaction ( mostly flash backs to N3 hacking where they would take a single hacker without support and wonder why it died), would be it being essentially a nested rule that needs to be remembered which goes against one of the core philosophies of N4.

    5. Change Firewalls, currently the main part of firewalls that causes issue is the additional BTS it provides, and less so the wip mod, so changing firewalls to how ECM: Hacking works, this is the lowest impact change, the simplest and probably the best.
     
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  11. Lucian

    Lucian Well-Known Member

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    Is it really such a good idea? Then someone says High BTS models are unstoppable OP - lets nerf them too! Then - KHD is too op - lets nerf them too! And so on...

    I feel really dumb and missing something out reading this thread, cause I've never seen a list that can have a massive repeater coverage, 2-3 hackers and enough points left for something shooty/tanky. These lists are usually pretty fragile and start failing as soon as something goes fubar.
    Oh, and the enemy should be always dumb enough to only use non-stealthed hackable troops.
    One good impersonator or paratrooper can wreack havok in deployment; paths are usually covered by enemy infiltrators, camos, flashpulse bots or warbands and there are some aros too.
    All these hackers you guys want to nerf so badly usually either good solely on hacking or cost a lot of points, making such 'hacker' not hacking good enough will render this model useless.Oh, and making them more vulnurable to KHDs might result in not taking anything other than KHD since they die too easily just like in HSN3.
     
  12. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    Main problem with carbonite is that has the damage output of wet paper against a brick wall.
     
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  13. Tristan228

    Tristan228 Morlock trainer
    Warcor

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    Concerning hacking and the repeater network I think the Cybermines would be the perfect candidate to get an overhaul: If they're planted in a hacking area they go off as soon as any opponent hacker activates. But instead of the shitty "carbonite (-3)" they perform they get something like "Blackout (AP+DA)" that permanently disables comms equipment (of course the Engineer will be able to fix it).
     
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  14. Rejnhard

    Rejnhard Well-Known Member

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    Maybe lets consider this direction. How about going further: Oblivion only on KHDs (renamed Assault HDs). It would solve a problem of one linked and firewalled apex hacker being all you need to be fully oppressive (as now if you want to GML or White Noise and Oblivion you need to invest into two hackers and their support). Would stop regular hacker devices from feeling like a better way to deal with hackers than killer hacker devices. Would make choosing to field a K/AHD alongside or instead of regular HD a more interesting decision than "do I expect problematic hackers?".
    Then maybe add a slight buff to carbonite (preferably one that has an impact in aro, to make HDs feel more defensive and less assaulty and thus differenting them more from AHDs).
     
    #274 Rejnhard, Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  15. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Shang-Jesus is the Lord and Saviour of the Shang-Ji unit (and kinda hard carry for White Banner). It's the TacAware Tinbot-6 AP HMG profile to be specific.
     
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  16. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

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    Did we ever even get an explanation as to why the fuck they're even in that sectorial? That still irks me.
     
  17. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    Can't say I agree with much in here.

    Links are not a problem. If anything they're too focused on improving a single model's FTF output which makes them only useful for movement and gunnery. If you're losing to linked ARO pieces bring Smoke, Ecplipse, White Noise, Camo Markers, Impersonation or a big stompy robot. Use a Coordinated Order once in a while or drop a Koala on that Kamau.
    The hardest part in Infinity is to not keel over in your Reactive Turn. As one of the few tools Sectorials get, Fireteams should drastically contribute to survivability and slowing your opponent down.

    Pitchers are a non Factor. It's excessively expensive to do what people claim they do "automatically". Impersonators, C+ Shinobu and Parachutist (DZ) are a bigger problem in that regard than Guided ever was.
    Got a Camo Lt? Who gives a damn about Guided.
    Playing Tohaa with CoC and a Mate on your LT? Same.
    I wonder why the Onyx Player feels shafted next to that.
    The issue is obvious LTs and lack of a LT contingency solution for half the Sectorials. People don't hate Pitchers, they hate LoL as a mechanic and getting their TAG killed from across the board without a say in the matter. The first one is a balancing problem, the second one is honestly just a part of the game design you'll have to live with, be it Mono CCWs, HMG fire or Guided.

    KHDs.
    We all agree Redrum was a shitty Program, stop wishing it back, and it wasn't even the worst offender.
    A KHD is an assassin piece, walking into a firewalled BTS9 Sixth Sense Hecker and coming out ahead is precisely what they should not be good at.
    They're a lot better than before in FTF rolls vs other Hackers. The average N3 KHD FTF vs another Hacker was B2 Redrum (-3) vs whatever the other guy had. In between Carbonite being a +3 ARO and basically every mid tier Hacker having an Upgrade Program like Lightning, Maestro etc the lines between KHDs and non KHDs were very blurry.
    I do miss the Deva AHD (Upgrade: Lightning) because it was a stupid good Hacker in a Maestro infested Hacking meta. I do not miss Maestro shitting on any non NWI Hacker.
    Now we're looking at a B3 Trinity (+3) vs a B1 (+0) ARO for KHD vs HD. KHDs are a shitload more reliable and plenty deadly against 95% of other Hackers. It's just not the brainless "walk in Hacking Area, kill somethin with DAM16 DA" N3 interaction anymore. More reliability (and more targets) is great. Automatic Cybermask is great.
    What isn't great is the Hacking ARO game. KHDs could really use something similar to Supressive Fire to stay relevant there.

    Gonna disagree with your Acon example.
    While they have one of the shitty Lt strats (shellgames without security) they do have the baseline functional one (take 3+ potential Lts and just make it inefficient to try). They're better off than any Nomad Sectorial in that department, which again isn't great, but serviceable.

    You're also forgetting Scylla exists in that Sectorial, which gives them a brute force solution to Hacking no one else in PanO gets.
    Dart/Tik solve a bunch of potential Pitcher problems in their respective ways. Naga FOs are staples and don't care much about Pitchers either. The Regular Hacker+LGL+Fastpanda is one of the most minmaxed troop profiles in the entire Faction and can clear a Repeater, Hacker or ML Bot if you absolutely have to - I'd recommend taking at least 3 if it's gonna be part of a strat though.

    Lt assassination via Impersonator/AD trooper is possible, but Acon has AVA Total 0 SWC Minelayers and gets more on Bagh Snipers. They also have some of the best Repeater coverage in the whole game for their own DZ to go with the best Hacking in PanO.

    Overall they're a far better N4 Sectorial than Varuna and Sval (not to mention MO and NCA).
    The only better solution within all of PanO are Vanilla and NCA with a Bolt CoC Setup.
     
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  18. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    Well, MO is close second best in the Hacking department in PanO. It just cost a lot, but De Fersen in a Fireteam with a Santiago KHD is really tough to deal with. The problem is that a core with De Fersen and a Santiago KHD isn't really cheap, even if you put in a Sergeant and a Lazarus.
     
  19. fatherboxx

    fatherboxx Mission control, I'm coming home.

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    just place a camo khd in a place where you expect the pitcher/panda to land jesus christ
     
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  20. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    To be fair, that's just an opportunity for them to spend an order or two killing or isolating your KHD before they move on to the original target.

    That said, I haven't personally been seeing a lot of pitcher-spotlight alpha strikes, so I'm not convinced it's a problem but I don't have an informed opinion on it. In my limited experience, the best way to stop it is long-range AROs to pin down the pitcher. And conveniently, in N4 you need to be putting up long-range AROs anyway to stop all the other kinds of alpha strikes...
     
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