1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hemos actualizado nuestra Política de Privacidad acorde con la nueva RGPD. +Info // We've updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the GDPR. +Info
    Dismiss Notice

The definite N4 Comments, Suggestions, Ideas, wishlist's and Bugs that need fixing thread

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by psychoticstorm, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5,791
    Likes Received:
    9,117
    That makes sense and would be easier to teach, so I hope this is on CB's radar. @HellLois ?

    I'm hoping that N4's designer intent is "make the game easier to teach". N1/N2 was "max realism", N3 changed that to "better gameplay", so I hope N4 is "easier to teach".
     
  2. Weathercock

    Weathercock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    386
    No, please.

    Lt vulnerability, as noted previously, provides a rubber band mechanic, and the restrictions on Lts that certain factions play end up being a pretty big factor in defining faction strengths and identity. Yu Jing's rock hard command structure and great Lt options are a pretty far cry from Nomads' glaring lack of good, ambiguous options in that regard. And the last thing YJ needs is to have more of its identity shaved away.
     
    Tourniquet likes this.
  3. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    4,554
    Likes Received:
    4,424
    I'd like them to get their head in the game as to which factions are supposed to have fragile command structures and which aren't. It seems weird to me that Onyx's is so bad when Morats, Shas, and vanilla all have amelioration options.

    Ikari is another one that could use a look, I suppose.
     
    theradrussian likes this.
  4. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Alright, here it is: This is everything I want changed in N4, I think. I've drafted this during downtime at new job over the past few weeks, and now I leave it here for review. It wouldn't fit in a single comment, so it's going to be several, hopefully I can keep them chained well enough to be coherent. I’m kind of taking a break from the game. I say kind of because I still hope to be playing every few months, but due to a new job I’ve taken I’m pretty far from the closest group (about 3 hours) and I don’t live in an area with enough interest or the right space to do it myself (nor do I really have the time to be community building).

    Game Design, Balance, Play-Feel

    First, we need to talk about game design (and by extension, balance, which I know is the longest four letter word on the forums right now.)

    Games are at their core, about interactions and exchanges between two players. Winning a game, in the most ideal scenario, is about maximizing your ability to exploit the games mechanics to your favor, while minimizing your opponent’s ability to do so. I use the word ‘exploit’ here in a different sense than what you may have read it as -- exploit here means to take maximum advantage of, the same way you would exploit a natural resource.

    Because of this, a game is an exchange of play and counterplay between two players. The most competitive games are the ones where tactics and strategies (there’s a difference that sometimes players seem to lose) always can be played around or against.

    Infinity players in my experience sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between mechanics and models that possess those mechanics, and this leads to a lot of cross-talk when we talk about game balance as a whole. A balanced unit can have a broken mechanic as long as it has significant drawbacks. Asymmetrical balance is most interesting when the differences between units are bigger, and the best way to accomplish this is to buff the strong points of units even more while nerfing their weaknesses even harder. I know that at first glance, this may seem counterintuitive to both the above point about counterplay and the one about units vs. equipment, but it isn’t when you take the position that asymmetrical balance should both be achieved on a unit level and an equipment level to maximize how interesting the game is (a position I do take.)

    An imbalance is something that usually comes because of:

    A) Lack of counterplay

    B) Counterplay that is too expensive compared to the cost (economically, in terms of orders in Infinity, or in risk)

    C) Mechanics that reduce the importance of decision-making (e.g. mechanics that don’t give a benefit for good tactics or give bad play the same or better benefits than good play)

    D) Mechanics that are complex enough that the receiving player is left at the mercy of their opponent in terms of how a mechanic works. (For example, if someone told me SSL2 did something I didn’t know, I would probably trust them because that rule is hell, but the problem is worse with mechanics that are more uncommon such as Holo2, Impersonation, or pretty much all of Tohaa’s mechanics.)

    E) Mechanics that encourage players to ignore each other. Infinity is a two player game, not a two player solitaire. Mission design is the most frequent source of this problem, but there are some bits of equipment that do this. Infinity sells itself and thrives when players are interacting with each other -- but some of the additions to the game (and some mechanics that date back a very long time) minimize this interaction. If I wanted to ignore my friends for several hours at a time, I would play a eurogame.

    The other part of this is that we need to consider balance externally as well as internally. Historically I feel like the playerbase has been very rarely willing to do the latter (and as a side point I feel like releasing ‘public playtest’ versions of factions about 1-3 months before the final release would allow CB to more accurately iron out some of these issues compared to their internal-only playtesting). When I talk about internal balance, I am referring to the idea that the units within the faction should feel like they are all useable, that there are no ‘auto-takes’, and that one unit doesn’t do the same job as another unit but better.

    Altogether the game feels like externally (between factions) that the balance is in a pretty alright place. It could be improved of course, but I don’t feel like there’s much else out on the market that does balance right. Internal balance on the other hand is a total mess in probably half of the game.

    Skills and Equipment: Things that are Too Good

    So with that big aside about game design in mind, I’d like to highlight a few mechanics in Infinity that I think are not in line with the balance of the game. Let’s start with an example that at least CB agreed with (at least in terms that something needed a change) -- old Symbiomates.

    1) Old Symbiomates

    Old Symbiomates were awful to play against because they made Tohaa shooters practically guaranteed to have a chance to win any given roll, and because they fundamentally broke down the timing of the game. Some players insisted that there was some kind of big brain decision making on using mates, but the most effective strategy was almost always to use them the first time you got hit by anything. The mechanic was braindead, and there weren’t “strong ways” or “good decisions” to make with mates. This is an example of Issue C above.

    Mates were also bad to play against for Issue A as well though. A mate meant a Tohaa specialist could run 8 inches unimpeded without caring. There was no way to actually remove a mate besides just shooting the Tohaa player until they spent them.

    Finally, mates were an example of Issue B. Mates, as far as I can tell by comparing a Celestial Guard and Kaeltar, only cost 3 points each. That’s three points a pop for a multi-wound that can only be removed by the player choosing to spend it. This is significantly cheaper than any other source of wounds in the game.

    Two simple changes could have been made to Mates to remove these problems. 1) The declaration of a mate could have been changed to be before the resolution of an order, and 2) the cost of mates could have been increased significantly since they were effectively free multi-wounds. The first change would solve the problem about mates ignoring decision-making, and the second would solve the problem of economics.

    1b) New Symbiomates

    I think new Symbiomates have pretty much the same problem, though not as badly as before. Giving Total Immunity to Symbiomate owners creates as a many problems as it solves (at least before, you could Flash a Tohaa unit with a Mate to get them to use it if they didn’t want to risk punishment). The reduction to ARM9 is better and at least forces Tohaa players to take cover if they want to minimize risk, but ARM9 also means you’re nearly impossible to wound in Cover with a non-Template weapon. From a counterplay perspective, mates are much better now. They are easier to remove since they’re automatic. But they encourage even less interesting decision-making on the part of their owner now, and the costing is still way below what it should be for what it gives.

    Now that I’ve explained my perspective a bit on those two points, I’d like to talk about some other individual bits of equipment that are too good.

    2) Jammers

    Jammers are just too strong for their own good. Ignoring mods, hitting without LoF, ignoring marker state, having no way to get unjammed besides an engineer, all on a piece of equipment that as far as I can tell only costs 1-2 points is so far beyond the curve of what’s normally allowed in the game. But the biggest problem is that there’s no risk to the jammer. You can jam most units in the game, the jammer doesn’t add any other risks to its owner the way a hacking device does, you can jam without LoF, and since it doesn’t require LoF it almost never brings risk to the owner -- or at least it's one of the least risky methods of attack in the game. Jammers inherently do not have counterplay. Units possessing them do to different extents, but Jammers themselves are too powerful.

    The other problem with Jammers is how the rule itself is written. Compare it to the rule for Hedgehog Weapon, or something else that doesn’t exist in N3. Instead of getting a normal equipment block, they have a weird N2-style rule entry that does not match the current rule style at all. They should have a traditional equipment block that specifies how the Jammer skill works, what its requirements are, and what its effects are, the same way literally every other piece of equipment in the game does (or should).

    Jammers need new counterplay, either by 1) allowing units to reset out, 2) limiting the effectiveness of the Jammer to its own ZoC (as has recently been suggested elsewhere), or 3) making Jammers a limited form of hacking device so they are vulnerable to hacking nets. I personally lean towards the third option for adding counterplay.

    3) Explode

    Explode’s problem is that the timing makes it both an example of a mechanic with no counterplay and example of a mechanic that encourages some level of non-interaction -- yes, you do need to go unconscious for explode to activate, but the timing of explode not allowing for dodge is a huge problem with the order expenditure sequence that I hope N4 solves. Some of this problem is specific to Kuang Shi. When Explode activates as normal, you can’t dodge, but for some reason you can when you declare detonate Kuang Shi (which is also a good example of where people on the forums have called out that sometimes the real rules are in the examples).

    4) Flash Pulse

    This isn’t a big offender to some people, but I think it’s huge, personally. Flash Pulse is just too effective for what it costs right now, Issue B. A linked Flash Pulse is a stupidly good ARO, since it has a positive range greater than line troop BS Weapons, costs only 1 point, and is just as big a risk to 2W+ units as it is to 1W units since there is no way to get out of the Flash state (a violation of point 1). Allow a reset (or reset w/ a -3 penalty) to get unflashed, and bump the cost of the flash pulse up by a point, and Flash Pulse starts looking less overpowered.

    5) Marker State

    Marker State as a whole is maybe the strongest mechanic in the entire game. (I say that and there’s a couple players I know who will already be nodding their heads). Marker state provides a defense that is actually better than a wound in some ways due to the discover rules. The fact that you can still fail a discover while practically on top of its owner and not be able to do anything about it is incredible and situationally better than any number of wounds. This makes marker state units expensive to remove from the table, in terms of economics. If a player drops a pile of markers on the table, the risk of what is under them makes effectively removing markers too economically risky in terms of orders and points to be an effective strategy.

    Camo benefits either need to be changed significantly, a unit who fails a discover should be able to discover again, camo needs to have some kind of drawback (such as only being able to move your first MOV value) or something else of this kind. Camo mods also have built in visual mods, which are discussed in the next section ( 6) Visual Mods).

    5b) Basic and Advanced Impersonation

    If Marker state is bad, double marker state with the TO penalty to discover and the free 20 inches of movement anywhere on the table is even worse. Impersonation goes a step further and allows you to deploy without a roll anywhere on the table, which is a costing/competitiveness issue as well (since Superior Infiltration exists, which we’ll get to later).

    The costing of Impersonation is also very inconsistent faction to faction. Basic Impersonation does not have a SWC cost, even though every other impersonator in the game does, and I would say the ‘soft power’ an Impersonator provides in terms of control is much more valuable than a mine. Every new Impersonator seems to have a SWC cost (.5-1) so hopefully all impersonators will cost some SWC in N4.

    6) Visual Mods

    Visual mods are wildly undercosted. The Omega is the best example of this to me, but Mimetism across the board is too strong for the 1-2 points it costs. If I could pay an extra 4 points on my gunfighters to get ODD, I would pay it every single time. If I could pay 1-2 points for Mimetism on every single unit, I probably would. Part of the problem is that the counters to these mechanics are priced counterintuitively. If MSVs instead gave positive bonus to hit, for example, MSV1 giving an additional +3 against the -3 mods (Mimetism and Camo) and MSV2 gave an additional +3 against the-9 mods (TO/ODD) things would feel better than they do now, or alternatively if the costing was flipped and MSV was cheap and plentiful whereas mimetism/camo was more expensive things would feel better from a balance perspective. The big reason for this is that Vis Mods are almost always applicable, whereas visors only are in much more rare circumstances. This is particularly bad for MSV1 (literally only cancels Mimetism or Camo, I would rather have one of those skills) or MSV3 (very minimum utility over MSV2). I’ll revisit this point in the section below about Stats vs. Skills.

    7) G: Jumper

    I don’t think this even needs an explanation tbh. G:Jumper units should just get a discount equal to the cheapest order in the faction they’re in (8 point bots) instead of the 18-20 point discount they get right now. Playing Aleph is honestly like getting an extra 60 points to run around with every game.

    8) Wound Alternatives

    Wound alternatives, such as NWI+Shock Immune, Low-Tech, Transmutation (which has no consistent costing as far as I can tell) and Symbiont Armor all exist and are all cheaper than they should be. For a great example of this in Tohaa, compare the Ectros HMG to the Mobile Brigada, it basically looks like the Ectros gets an extra (weaker) wound for almost no cost.

    9) Fatality Lv2

    Fatality 2 is the skill I was thinking of when I wrote about mechanics that don’t reward good play and don’t punish bad play. Because of how Fatality 2 works, it’s often just okay to throw your Fatality unit at whatever thing, no matter how bad the odds, because you can just crit and win anyway. This kind of play doesn’t reward the person using the unit with Fatality 2 for being good, since it makes range bands pretty much irrelevant as long as you’re shooting on 2 or higher.

    10) Smoke

    Yeah, I went there. Zero visibility zones encourage players to play games of non-interaction. Because ITS is focused on pushing buttons, there are a number of missions where smoke and pushing buttons is the best way to win the mission. The increased availability of MSV2 ARO pieces in the game is a band-aid for what I feel like is an underlying deeper problem about some of the strongest ways of playing the game being the least interactive -- warband spam, smoke spam, camo spam. If smoke instead made an extremely low visibility zone (-6) the interactive core of the game could be maintained without too many issues. It’s very telling to me that down in the JSA section below that my big opinions is that most units in the army could be improved with more access to Smoke.
     
  5. Weathercock

    Weathercock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    386
    With CB seemingly moving towards more combat capable and aggressive CoC pieces as opposed to the traditional CoC cheerleaders, I could totally see Onyx getting a CoC Umbra. A sort of "you've outlived your usefulness" sort of attitude on there.
     
  6. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Skills and Equipment: Things that are Too Bad

    1) Automedikit / Regeneration. These cost a fortune for a very limited chance of a benefit. ‘Please spend an order for a very high chance to just kill yourself’ doesn’t feel very good. Making these into automatic skills instead would basically solve the problem.

    2) Superior Infiltration. The risk/reward here is too big. Relying on a 75% chance to actually play a game and losing a 40 point unit if you fail is just too tough to swallow when you fail, but game-ending when you pass. If Superior Infiltration instead gave you the center of the table + 8 inches, or 20 inches from your deployment zone (the same thing, but an extra 4 inches in 16 inch DZ missions), even if it cost a few points more, that would be great. For some reason impersonators get all the way up to the enemy DZ with no roll, so the balance between the skills feels off.

    Game Mechanics

    Here are some mechanics that I think CB needs to take a look at. These are more looks at some overarching results of how the game plays and how things are costed.

    1) Fury (and its relationship to CC)

    The penalties for these are so minimal on most of the units that have them. For many of the smoke warbands, Impetuous is a bonus as it means you get to smoke without spending orders from your order pool and you don’t really care about losing 5 points if it means you get to manuever around your side of the table. The same thing goes for units with these abilities that link. The discount provided by these skills just is too much compared to the drawbacks that you don’t even feel while in a link team.

    I bring CC up here because it seems that CB often uses Fury to balance out the cost of CC skills. The problem is that in most cases it’s either way too much or not enough. Units without CC skills that get frenzy are waaaay to efficient (looking at you, Riot Grrls), but for many units with CC skills it’s not efficient enough (Domaru are a good example of this.) Some of this has to do with individual statlines and loadouts, but it seems like the balancing act between Fury and CC is just not working at all, and I hope CB revisits both of these mechanics.

    The other issue with Fury is the discount it gives when combined with Irregular. Again, the balance between the discount for irregular units and the utility they provide seems to be a bit off. This has a lot to do with the units they are on, but in manycases those are orders you would want to spend on their owner anyway (Hunzakuts, warbands, etc). When you stack irregular, impetuous, and a bunch of other skills, you get incredibly strong units for a fraction of the price compared to their utility -- see: most warbands, McMurrough (who is only regular impetuous now somehow), Yojimbo and others.

    2) Direct Template Weapons

    CB way undervalues DTWs across the entire game -- this is so weird to me because they seem to overvalue other close range abilities such as CC. Heavy Flamethrowers auto-hit with cascading DAM14. Linked Heavy Flamethrowers autohit twice with cascading DAM14. CB needs to price templates more relative to their utility, which should be a small point bump across the board. Think about it in terms of a 3-man link of line troops with a Combi and a Chain Rifle. The Chain Rifle is a guaranteed double hit, and the Combi is rolling 4 dice at 11s. The two autohits will always perform more consistently. DTWs are most frequently used to trade, but their costing means that most units wielding them are almost never trading down.

    Another potential nerf to templates for the sake of simplicity / playability of templates would be that they need to hit their primary target in a straight line -- basically, imagine a straight line down the middle of a template and the primary target needs to line up with that. This makes templates much more likely to be cancelled due to bad placement of your own units/civilians (which adds realism) and makes the primary target feel like an actual primary target. It also helps teardops templates feel more internally consistent with the placement of blast templates and the normal LoF rules.


    3) BS Weapons

    BS Weapons have some wonky costing that should be changed.

    1. Some BS Weapons are far too cheap. The SMG is the biggest offender, but I think the LSG should be in the same category tbh. The fact that Rifle + LSG exists as a combo for the same price as a Combi should highlight two things: Either the Combi is too expensive, or its competitors are too cheap. (Or both of these things are true, which I think I fall into the camp of).

    2. MULTI Rifles are wildly overcosted on the troops they are on (4 points over the combi). MULTI Rifles seem to just bloat the troop their on without actually adding anything. How often do players take MULTI Rifles over combis? And combis are already pricey.

    3. Weapon costs need to be adjusted when a unit has multiple weapons that cover the same range band. It seems like CB maybe already moved in this direction with Bolts’ Combi+LSG costing (-2 or 3 points over their previous values), but there’s still a number of Combi + Assault Pistol units that get such a minimum benefit from the Assault Pistol vs. the extra few points it costs.

    4. Weapon costs need to be adjusted when units have mixups that have alternate responses (or even removed, tbh) -- i.e., if a unit has template weapons where Reset and Dodge would be the correct response, it should cost more than if it had only one or the other. Or maybe this should be removed from the game entirely as it encourages non-interactive play (example: Jammer + DTW on the same profile.)

    5. SWC costs need to be adjusted in a few places and applied more consistently. Red Furies are bargain bin weapons and should scale like the rest of active turn SWC weapons. SWC scaling should also be adjusted for line troops -- Moderators w/ BS10 get a .5SWC Spitfire, BS10 Volunteers get the same cost for an HMG, but for some reason Keisotsu pay literally double for it. I understand the SWC costs are set by hand, but the rules are not consistent and lead to weird imbalances in the game, such as free vs. .5SWC Panzerfausts, etc.

    4) Game Timing

    Much of the timing of the game is only somewhat defined and leads to some counterintuitive play. Some great examples of this are the Superjump -> CC Attack -> Fall situation, which seems to violate the all-at-once principle, and the fact that Deployment Timing isn’t well defined at all. Can I form a fireteam while my opponent deploys, for example? RAW yes, but my gut says probably no. Having a more strict set of what is deployed in what order, a more complete set of ‘opening ceremonies’ might at least clean some of these issues up. Also rules should more strictly specify when they occur -- Explode`s timing is unclear from its rule, for example (and rules related to it give examples with different timing, like Detonate Kuang Shi).

    5) Stats vs. Skills

    One big problem that seems to come when analyzing the costs of units is that the cost of skills is much cheaper than an equivalent increase in stats. Mimetism is only 1 or 2 points, but the equivalent increase in BS is at least 3. Total Immunity and ARM0 BTS6 is significantly more survivable than ARM6 BTS6 but still cheaper. Stacking a bunch of cheap skills/equipment onto a unit can give you something like Dart, but doing it in terms of raw stats would be wildly expensive.

    CB seems to have caught onto this but made one step forward and one step backward. Shock Immune + NWI, SMG Hacking Devices, etc. are all examples of this, but they’re balance issues when they only exist in new armies.

    Examples of Internal/External Balance Issues in Units

    Next, let’s talk about some units. I’m going to hit on some of the ones you probably think I will, but maybe not for the same reasons you’re used to. Keep in mind that I’m referring to both some internal and some external factors of balance here, and I’ll try my best to break them apart so my opinion is clear. These aren’t ranked except in the order I thought of them.

    1) Ghazi Muttawi’ah (Mutts)

    Any conversation about unit balance issues should start here. Mutts show up in almost every Haaq and HB list, and the Mutt loadout has many of the same issues that the Jammer has.

    The real problem with the Mutt is that it sits at the intersection of so many different points I outlined above and hits a few I haven’t mentioned (for lack of a good place to put it.) They have 1) the Extremely Impetuous/Irregular Discount, 2) a Jammer, 3) two template weapons that target different saves, and 4) smoke. This is a huge internal balance problem for Haaq and HB. If someone can show me a list that wouldn’t be improved by dropping 20 points for 4 of these guys, I would be incredibly impressed. Internally for Haaq this is a huge issue, because even in vanilla (where they are AVA4) people will take all 4, every time. Dropping the vanilla AVA to 2 fixes this problem somewhat, but really only address a symptom of the deeper problem of their design. Moving the Jammer to a profile that is just smoke + jammer, and leaving a chain rifle + e/marat profile and a BSG + e/marat profile seems like it would actually solve the problem. It would make Mutts more of a decision you have to make instead of a decision made for you.

    In HB, they compete for many of the same roles as the Inferior Infiltration Daylami, but do the same thing with less risk and greater resilience (due to smoke, V:Dogged and not relying on Infiltration rolls, and the fact Inferior Infiltration Daylamis already do some of the same things as Fidays).

    The thing is, faction to faction, HB and Haaq don’t really seem to be overperforming. But Mutts are bad to play against and create a boring list-building experience for Haaq/HB players and should be changed to open up room for other choices (other choices that should be buffed somewhat to be competitive with a slightly nerfed Mutt).

    2) Kuang Shi

    Kuang Shi are a great example of Fury not working, in my opinion. For 33/.5, you get a battery of 5 orders (6.6 points per order) that also smokes on 17s in ISS. Kuang Shi just don’t have any competition for what they do. If Zhanshi or CG were 8-9 point orders with SMGs (and bloat whatever stat you need to make up the difference) or templates then it would be a different story (at least a little) but as it is nothing gives orders as cheaply or as effectively as Kuang Shi. ISS was long-ranked one of the most consistently over-performing sectorials before the post-Druze game, but honestly no faction that gets 9 orders to fuel a heavy hitter like a Su Jian or Hsien for 61 points could really be that bad.

    Even in Vanilla with no linkability, they have the backup of Shaolin Monks to give them Smoke cover if necessary.

    3) Post-Humans / Proxies

    Mostly already covered under the G:Jumper section, but I’m going to go ahead and point out a couple more issues here.

    Post-Humans as a whole are an internal balance nightmare. Using AVA as a balancing factor is a delicate situation to begin with (and yes, I know I have advocated for this exact thing with the Ryuken 9 before, but I’m going to say I was probably wrong to have done so) but the fact that Post-Humans just do so much and are so costly to remove from the table compared to their costs is a great example of internal balance failure. There are even huge balance problems within the Post-Human ecosystem, such as Proxy Mk3 being basically unplayed. When a 6-2 2W BS13 ARM4 Spitfire with WIP15 for 21 points is uncompetitive, something is wrong. Let’s face it, even not producing an order, you could put that in literally any army and it would be pretty playable. 1-2-5 is the ‘correct’ combination of Post-Humans in every game, and the existence of a ‘correct combination’ of proxies spits in the face of the idea that ‘it’s not your list it’s you’. The idea that everything is viable in Infinity is mostly true -- but when some profiles don’t even have great niche application (I’m especially looking at the Mk3 here), it falls apart. I don’t think you could come up for a list for almost any mission where taking Proxy Mk3 is the right choice compared to 1-2-5.

    The Mk5 especially has another internal balance problem within its own profile. When was the last time you saw the MMLX version of the Mk5? The Mk2 also has its own internal balance issue. It does exactly the same thing the Dasyu MSR does, except better (+1 BS), and 18 points cheaper.

    Post-Humans are also an external balance issue as it turns out. Looking at the performance of OSS and Aleph at major tournaments over the past couple months, both factions have been overperforming by a lot. It would be hard to find an event with more than 50 players where these two factions didn’t hold several places in the top ten.

    4) Sukeul Commandos

    Sukeuls are another great example of a unit that is just too strong internally. The biggest competition is the Gao-Rael, but it seems like the Sukeul HMG and Gao-Rael Sniper are the most popular choices for these two. I would really like to see a change that makes the Gao-Rael’s active turn weapons feel a bit better while the Sukeul gets a more interesting reactive turn weapon. To be honest, I would rather see the entire game balanced up at least to the Sukeul’s level rather than down to anything else’s level.

    Someone else pointed out to me this is more symptom of Tohaa’s lack of HMG options than anything else, which is true, but it’s also that the Sukeul is miles better than most other shooters in the faction.

    5) Kamau MSV2 Sniper

    I have to lead with the fact that I’m not sure how I feel about adding this one here since it relies on a couple things. The Kamau sniper on its own is fine. It’s the Fireteam bonuses that really push it over the edge from ‘strong’ to ‘too strong with the current state of the game.’ Some armies don’t have a response to this at all, and some only have a response that takes basically a turn of gambling on bad dice -- I would say if anything the Kamau is a great example of counterplay being too expensive compared to cost. The risk of shooting with almost anything is high, with a 4 potential wounds being received if you fail, and it’s significantly undercosted compared to its shooting ability. Internally in VIRD, I really can’t think of a situation where you wouldn’t take this guy, so that’s a problem (I would love to see some VIRD players contradict this).

    I’m hesitant about putting it here though because it’s more a result of how link bonuses interact with already very elite gunfighters. I think there should have been a restriction on linking this unit somehow the same way there’s an FTO with the Aquila, for example.

    Or the entire game could be balanced up to the Kamau level. That would be great (and that’s not sarcasm).

    6) Ryuken Unit-9 SMG

    This unit is in a bad place both internally and externally. Internally, there’s no reason to not take two of them, pretty much ever. The amount of control they provide for the cost is outrageous. SMG + X-Visor + ODD is hyperoptimized to make the most annoying Suppressive Fire unit ever, and doing all that plus throwing a mine down for 24 points is incredibly good. The fact the HRL Ryuken is just a non-choice even though its predecessor (the Raiden) was a staple in vanilla YJ and taken occasionally in JSA really shows how strong this unit is compared to before. I wish the entire game could be on the level of the Ryuken, and I thought for a while we were moving that way, and then CB released the Chaksa Longarms and now I’m not sure what to think.
     
    #646 meikyoushisui, Aug 29, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  7. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    General Edition-Wide Changes In N4 Wishlist

    Strategic Command Token: The purpose of the strategic command token is fine and it functions as intended, but it’s neither fun to lose a command token just because you went second or to lose two orders just because you went second. Changing it to instead allow the player with the second turn to use two orders from his first turn order pool before the first player takes his first turn (allowing player 2 to set up suppressive fire at choke points, take cover and position on a building just outside of their DZ, put down additional mines, etc) would make this more interesting and more rewarding for both players. And then the orders would be subtracted from his normal order pool when his turn comes around. I've mentioned this earlier in this thread.

    Effective BS Range: Increased range for basic line troop weapons, or increased prevalence of longer range weaponry: too many games feel to me like they are decided by who loses their big HMG or Spitfire piece first, I would love to see Marksman Rifles get much cheaper and much more widespread in how they are allocated. Being able to get a Marksman Rifle in my line troop link for just a few more points as a good backup shooting weapon would make some parts of the game feel much less swingy.

    CC Chart Rules: The chart rules (iKohl, NBW, MA, and Guard) should be merged as levels W, X, Y and Z of CC. Put all the charts in one place in one rule entry, and then make Protheion a skill that allows gaining wounds in a CC attack (most protheion units should just have MA anyway).

    Labels and Traits: Labels need to be more clearly defined and used more consistently in the rules. For example, many rules that refer to “move” mean “The Move Short Skill” whereas sometimes they are referring to “a Short Skill with the Movement Label”. The rules should be more clear about this -- Speculative Fire and Surprise Shot is an interaction that relies on this, for example, but many players find it counterintuitive because “you declare a short skill inside of a long skill”.

    Assault: The text explaining Assault as Move+Move+CC Attack should be completely removed from the rule, it only causes issues for new players in how it interacts with fireteams and G:Sync. Oh, also Berserk shouldn’t grant Assault, they should either be one skill or two separate skills (tbh I think Assault should be a common skill).

    Skill Grouping: For the sake of a cover to cover read of the rulebook to be viable, it might be best to group skills by what they do. For example, Executive Order, Chain of Command, Strategoes, and Lt Lv2 could all be in one section called “Lieutenant Skills”, and Berserk, Assault, Dual Wield, and the Chart Skills should all be in a section called “Close Combat Skills”.

    AD: The ITSX rule for AD3+ should just become what the skill is. AD4+ has always felt like you need to downgrade to AD2 because of the risk, but it turns out removing the template requirement makes the risk much more palatable.

    Rule Placement: Rules being contained in examples or in the wrong rule altogether should be fixed; see the above example about Explode, or the fact that the ‘fire sensitive’ trait of Symbiont Armor isn’t actually explained in the Symbiont Armor rule but instead in the Active Symbiont Armor State rule. This is also a good example of a trait being applied wrong.

    E/M: E/M should be nonlethal to avoid the weird interaction with Assisted Fire. The interaction between E/M CCWs with Dual Wield should also be changed (from auto E/M + save for wound to auto-wound + save for E/M).

    Rule Groupings: The way that rules are grouped is sometimes counterintuitive. When people complain about ‘nested rules’, I think that’s really just a subset of this issue. There are a number of rules where the levels do not progress in a predictable way, for example:

    1. Fatality 1 gives +1DAM but Fatality 2 makes your crits better. Why not have Fatality1-3 all give DAM bonuses and make the crit skill different?

    2. Full Auto 1 and 2 have the same problem. FA1 gives +1B, but FA2 gives a -3?

    3. V:Courage should be rolled out of Valor and Dogged and NWI should be the Level 1 and 2 skills. If we really want a replacement that fits in the tree, a Valor skill that allows you to spend one more order on the troop before he dies would be cool. It could be called something like V:Last Breath.

    4. Some nested rules have their contents explained in every unit where they appear. For example, Vet Lv2 appears on one profile in the game, and has its contents explained in parenthesis on that profile (NWI+SSL2). If a rule is so complicated it needs to be called out and players need to be reminded even just looking at the profile, it’s too complicated to exist.

    5. Mimetism is a level of CH rather than its own skill, but ODD is not. If either of these rules are going to be in the next edition, they really should be two levels of the same skill in their own entry.

    6. Ghost: Too many rules are grouped under ghost. Some of them are barely related at all (Jumper, Mnemonica and Autotool). Instead, the Ghost skill should grant the current benefits of G:Remote Presence (Courage, no Cube, 2 levels of Unconscious if you have STR, engineering bonuses that accompany this) and Marionette, Servant, Sync, and even Antipode should all be additional skills that add benefits and restrictions to the base ghost skill (which will have the current rules of Rem Presence). The big difference between these 4 skills is how they vary in coherency and activation, and they share such a large subset of interactions that putting them all in one place seems best.

    TAGs and REMs: Bonuses/penalties applied to specific unit types (REM, TAG, etc) should be removed and replaced with skills that have the same effect. For example, the Heavyweight skill (or we could create a new, more specialized Skill called Clunky/Easy Target) could grant a dodge penalty and be given to REMs and TAGs.

    Hackable: Hacking programs should target the hackable trait instead of or in addition to unit types. Right now the hackable trait doesn’t actually do anything -- instead, hacking programs target unit types and the ‘non-hackable’ skill prevents them from working. Instead, why not allow hackable to be applied to any unit, have hacking programs target units possessing the Hackable trait, and provide a small discount? The non-hackable rule is a great example of weird rules bloat that really just shouldn’t need to exist. Also side point, the special effects of some ammunition types, such as E\M, should really apply to hackables instead of unit types that are traditionally hackable, or you end up with weird stuff like Ariadna leather being vulnerable to E\M.

    Supportware: Assisted Fire is too good, IMO. On average, there’s a nearly 50% chance that you land a shot that you otherwise wouldn’t have with the Assisted Fire supportware on vs. off, meaning that if you’re planning on shooting, buffing first is almost always the right decision. On the other hand, many other bits of Supportware/EVO Programs don’t seem to get played at all -- Reboot, for example, is only marginally better than Fairy Dust, and I’ve never seen anyone use Kaleidoscope in my life, and Enhanced Reaction and Overclock are so similar I actually had forgotten they’re two different programs.

    Communication: ‘Patch notes’ should be released when changes are made to Army/PDFs. If CB had an official channel for doing so, there would be less confusion over whether or not a change was intentional or not, and people wouldn’t have to make a lot of noise to confirm whether or not a change was intentional. This would also allow them to quickly and accurately disseminate information about discrepancies between PDF releases and Army releases of new factions/units in the game.
     
  8. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    4,554
    Likes Received:
    4,424
    @meikyoushisui Great points. Still digesting it all. I will say that Kaleidoscope is actually pretty darn useful, though. Going second in Transmission Matrix it can be huge. Or before you get ready to attack a KHD it can give you that edge, especially stacking mods like Tinbot and Redrum/Maestro.
     
    SpectralOwl and meikyoushisui like this.
  9. ChoTimberwolf

    ChoTimberwolf Artichoken Friend

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    396
    @meikyoushisui nice summary, I agree with many points. As a Tohaa player I think mates should just be deleted haven't seen any real way to make them interesting without changing them completely. Gao-Rael Spitfire is fine in my opinion don't really think it needs a buff maybe 4-4 movement instead of 4-2 the real problem is the sukeul HMG it probably should simply be kicked out of the game or at least loose Fireteam Triad.
     
  10. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    1,638
    I think it was @TheRedZealot that suggested just making symbiomates give the model with the mate an extra wound and honestly it struck me as simple enough that I can totally get behind it.
     
  11. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    4,554
    Likes Received:
    4,424
    But when you think about that, how much does +1 wound cost on a profile? More than 3 points, right?
     
    meikyoushisui and ChoTimberwolf like this.
  12. Click2kill

    Click2kill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    149
    I'm not sure this is N4 suggestion, but it is something I would like to see in the future.

    Expanded Weapon Sprues.

    Perhaps still packed in Spec Ops kits,but including a variety of weapons not included in the current Spec Ops kits. I'm talking Boarding Shotguns, Red Furies, Combi-rifles, rifles, etc. It would make conversions and modding in this game a little easier to do, especially for profiles that may have to wait a long time... or perhaps never get a mold.
     
    Armihaul likes this.
  13. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    393
    And still, it is order consuming. Unless your hacker has stealth, when he retreats from there (more orders, will trigger a resset. the only program worth of use is oblivion, which effects will usually need fewer orders to take out (if the TAG owner didnt bring an enginier with a server bot near the tag, is a big fail and deserves the hacking).


    @meikyoushisui, overall I agree with you, specially in the interactive play, I have a few points where I don't completelly agree.

    I agree that they might need an extra counterplay, like beign comms equipement (I think it would be enough, because then will be clear that it is not a BS weapon and could be hacked), but actually there is counterplay in the game: veteran lv1, which completelly ignores jammer, and little by little CB is giving new troops with that hability to everybody, all vainilla have access to it (krakots, and they are good for other reasons), or CB might put it in other units (like did with securitates).

    Is a little counterplay against expensive units. Suffering a -3 for a turn, when you cannot be killed by it (even if you cannot do attacks) is not so problematic. Is an example of pain-remainder rules: Mechanics that are less punitive that other, but remain you over and over again that your mini is there, so you are more aware of the effect. A killed, you forget about it, and an unconscious, you can asume it, but imm-1, stuned, and other effects, remain you that your mini is there and can do less than usually, and is hard to get used to it, but actually, that effect is less problematic/punitive than having your miniature killed.

    remember jammers? they are also a counterpart for this. Mines and perimetrals are also tools for the interactive play, even if it is not a f2f roll. Anyway, I think MSV1 should be able to draw LoV to normal smoke, with a -3. Almost all factions have access to it, so it coul be a good counterplay and dismiss the MSV2 dependency

    The problem with superior infiltration is not the hability bit itself. Its the combination with other habilities from the profile. I haven't seen Bran do Castro be used as agressively as Shinobu, for example
     
  14. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    4,554
    Likes Received:
    4,424
    Veteran L1 isn't counterplay, per se, it's a "gear check," and the problem is that a lot of those Vet units are vulnerable to Chain Rifles or E/M, and in any case are more expensive than a 5 point Ghazi.
     
  15. Solar

    Solar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    4,101
    What I'd like to see from N4 more than anything is a community that tries to make the troops they have available to them work rather than constantly wishlisting what they otherwise would want.
     
    n21lv, Spinnaker, barakiel and 4 others like this.
  16. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    496
    Likes Received:
    393
    Well, is counterplay in the way he said (or I maybe understood), a LGL could also be counterplay, there are tools out there, just maybe they are not enought. And of course they are vulnerable to other weapons. They should (would be absurd they weren't)! And are more expensive than so much other units out there that I don't get your point.
     
  17. Del S

    Del S Nomadball

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    1,984
    We wanted this for ages, but it's apparently not viable. Maybe a partner making resin or 3d printed conversion parts is the best we'll get.
     
    Armihaul likes this.
  18. TheRedZealot

    TheRedZealot Well-Known Member
    Warcor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    1,312
    I think I saw it somewhere else first to be completely honest but I don't remember where.

    Last I did any digging NWI is ~3pts and a full wound is ~5pts. The extra Symbio mate wound is also more vulnerable to fire and requires bringing an extra body and requires changing your deployment order in some cases.
     
    theradrussian likes this.
  19. SpectralOwl

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    839
    Nope, Total Immunity. It treats them as Normal. Fixing Total Immunity with more Vulnerabilities all around to match lore and restoring the Tohaa's fire weakness as something to actually fear rate pretty highly on my list for "Things To Add in N4".
     
  20. TheRedZealot

    TheRedZealot Well-Known Member
    Warcor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    1,312
    I mean Im talking about a hypothetical Symbiomate that just adds a second wound no TI. So TI would do nothing since it wouldn't be there?
     
    SpectralOwl likes this.