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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. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
    Warcor

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    @Kiwi Steve the issue with hacking is that there are many options, but some are clearly better than others. I'd like to see them still available, but each of them viable in some way. This way we'd see some real infowar.
     
  2. Alfy

    Alfy Well-Known Member

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    A hundred times this, even though that's not a reason not to try to improve what can reasonably be.

    Balancing this many factions and sectorials while keeping them somewhat different in play style is a big task. Keeping units within a faction balanced while fulfilling different roles is equally arduous, unless the faction is small. Doing both is effectively impossible when the development team is small and the player base is somewhat large. There is just no way development can test enough compared to the hivemind firepower of a community playing each week and exchanging data on fora.

    I just take individual unit evaluation as part of the game, and going by the number of tactical articles that are dedicated to this very exercice, I assume most do. It's annoying when you realise a model you have bought is subpar (I'm a beginner so I still have my Icestorm Orc in my army, I'm a tad sad to think my next purchases will void its usefulness because it looks soooo cool), but I don't know any collectible game that works differently.
     
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  3. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    One thing I would suggest is to not listen too much about what seems to be a consensus. Bolts were said subpar before their updates and I never felt it while playing them because my meta rewards units with Veteran and tools to survive to Shock and Viral ammos while unhackable. Play your guys and use proxies before buying a unit you're looking at to see if it matches what you're looking for but really, take biaised advice with a truck a salt.
     
  4. Wizardlizard

    Wizardlizard Well-Known Member

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    I have never really felt a balance issue. There are bad matchups and bad lists but not as a facti a faction is so broke that it unbalanced everything. I mean yeah I hate pano cause they are the easy button kill faction and the soon to pass into bad dreams tohaa are on the edge of some bunk but overall balance is fine.
    I do have a little fear about updates in n4 for all armies and not being a unbalanced element creeping in. Not to mention how long it may take for profiles to be updated in all factions.
    I kinda missed the first few months of n3 so not sure how it was handled.
     
  5. Abrilete

    Abrilete Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that external balance (when comparing different armies) is surprinsingly good. Not perfect, but very good (there are indeed "easier Factions" and some very niche Sectorials). I find more problematic the internal balance, at least when looking at the armies I play with: Tohaa (Sukeul and Symbiomates are very good, Chaksa Longarms and Reex Escorts are very bad), Aleph (Posthumans are just autoinclude) and JSA (I like the Shikami, and sometimes I get good results, but every list I make is better without it).
     
  6. Snare

    Snare Member

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    Id like there to be two modes for hacking. Standard and TAG.
    If a hacker wanted to switch to TAG mode it would require a successful wip roll (or command token in the 1st round if opponent takes 1st turn).

    In tag mode the hacker can target TAGS only. In standard node the hacker cannot target TAGS.
     
  7. Ender101

    Ender101 Member

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    When I look at the change between N2 and N3, I don’t just see updating profiles and rebalancing, there were large, sweeping changes made which inherently shifted the balance of the game and the fine tuning came after.

    My thinking is that I’d like to see a shift in approach to how the game is meant to be played and how units are sometimes designed. Shifting the cost modeling from X ability costs Y points across the factions to turning models more on a per faction basis. Looking at flow, how much flipping through the book/wiki it takes, and how many rules have corner-case interactions slows down gameplay. I’m hoping for a cleaner ruleset that still has a lot of the crunchiness that Infinity is known and loved for, but has a stronger Feng Shui to improve the gaming experience.

    I’d also like unit types to have a nice long look and have more clearly defined roles on the table top while keeping things flexible. For example, in N3 I look at TAGs and Heavy Infantry and in many instances the HI have similar firepower for up to half the cost and lose out on one point of BS, a wound or structure (sometimes) or the Multi-aspect of their main weapon (if their faction TAGs have access to them), but don’t have to suffer the negatives native to the TAG rules (big negatives to dodging, possession, etc). I’d love to see TAGs be more than just really-heavy infantry, especially as we are seeing more and more S5 HI with similar firepower appear in factions that have that flavor (Kriza, Gamma, Mowang, etc).

    ((Not strictly an N4 thought, but ties into my previous discussion point. I think the most successful TAGs are those that have a strongly defined role in their lineup. In Panoceania, the Jotum is a tank that none of the HI can compete with while sporting Multi-HMG and a flamethower, the Squalo is artillery and a strong ARO piece that can justify its inclusion with its board presence and unique weaponry, and the Cutter is a TO beast that you can build around. Of those, the Cutter is the hardest to use due to point and swc cost, and HI competition for its ability and firepower, but it is still in the discussion. But the Tiklabang and Clausewitz are much harder to utilize and justify vs the faction’s HI.))
     
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  8. Wyrmnax

    Wyrmnax Well-Known Member

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    I will comment on spears post, because holy crap, he did a ton of work, and I agree with almost all of it.

    Ill add my own before we begin:

    - Jammer.

    Jammer is non-interactive and full of gotchas! ARO with no LOS, speculative fire with no penalty ( remember werewolf grenades being a problem on 13? ), speculative firing targets in marker state directly with no LOS, inflicting ISO ( wich is one of the worst states to be in) in a unit... the list goes on. This thing combines so many things that are not fun in a single piece of gear that it isnt funny.

    - Critical hits.

    Again, uninteractivity. You paid for ARM, put your guy in cover, paid for ODD? Well, screw you. The mechanic of auto-hit AND auto-wound is too strong on criticals. It is one of the things that devaluate ARM so severely. I think that either criticals need to be revisited or things that are directly affected by them ( ARM / Vision mods ) need to be re-priced. My personal favorite sugestion is that the first dice on a critical hit roll will be done against weapon damage +4, but I do understand that it adds a bit of extra complexity that is not very good for the game. With the price of ARM right now I would be ok with simple auto-hit on a critical, but I do understand that the design team want the underdog to have a better chance of killing the bigger targets.
    And that means that currently the bigger targets are simply too expensive.

    - Flatten out the cost curve. AND rework the price formula.

    Asimetric warfare is simply too effective in Infinity. The base cost of a troop is too low,k while the cost of any improvements is too high when compared to how much the troop inproves. That means that things that are on the cheap end of the scale ( warbands, warcors ) tend to bee to cost-effective, while things on the upper end ( TAGs ) tend to be too expensive for what they do.
    Basically - the formula cost makes a order too cheap while it overprices anything attached to that order. So when things bring more than a order they tend to be too expensive, while things that are priced more closely to the cost of the single order are way too effective.

    If every unit had its own activation then a good rule of thumb is that for something to cost 2x as much as another it need to do almost 2x as much damage AND have almost 2x as much survivability. That does not work exactly like that in infinity because of the way orders work, but it still need some correlation. Take a look at alguacil -> wildcats. Its a 90% increase in cost for a ~10% increase in damage done and even less than that in survivability. It is the reason why 'vanilla' HIs - such as ORCs or Mobile Brigadas - see so little play. Their effectiveness / cost is *way* lower than a lot of things. This is a reflex of the price formula being in a point where it does not reflect the efectiveness.

    For clear examples of this - NWI + Shock immunity makes it painfully obvious that the 2nd Wound simply costs too much on the price formula.
    Mimetism makes it clear that +BS is just too expensive
    Mimetism + MSV troops do it EVEN MORE BLATANTLY.
    PH, BTS and ARM are mostly useless because if youa re needing to use them it is because you are already screwed. PH has exceptions in melee / throwing weapons.
    WIP is useless on anything that does not actively use it ( most non-specialists in the game)
    CC is at a point that a 1 or 3 point bump is useless, unless it pushes you over that sweet spot of 20 CC ability. No one wants to CC if they are not specialized on it because of how dangerous CC is.

    - Fatality lv2

    It picked up the most uninteractive base rule in Infinity ( critical hits ) and double down on it. The problem with fatality is not how effective it is - thats basically Full Auto2 - it is how much of a bad taste it leaves. Loosing a ftf because the oponent stacked mods? Thats fine. Because he caught you out of cover? Your own fault. Because he caught you out of your prefered range? Well played for him.

    Fatality lv2 makes you loose the ftf because even with everything against him the oponent still won ftf because he had a skill that increased his chance of ignoring all of his bad choices.

    The problem would not be so gregarious if it was limited to low B weapons - like a Multi Sniper. That would just make the chances of a critical hit go back towards the critical chances of a B4 weapon, and that is perfectly ok in the game. It would even make sense fluffwise for a great shooter to be able to get more criticals with a precision weapon. But on B4 weapons it was a mistake.


    Exactly this. NWI alone is kinda overpriced because of how common shock has become, but NWI + shock immunity is a second wound - as is symbioarmor. The fact that right now a lot of 2w troops are actually pseudo-2w troops means that the true W2 is too expensive in comparasion.

    I believe that the problem here is the cost formula. The base-bare bones human (who somehow has ARM1) - like a warcor or civilian - is too cheap, while any stat bumps and non-chain rifle / smg weapons are too expensive. At the same time, the discount for irregular, impetuous and (especially) frenzy are kinda of too large.

    I believe that the best alternative is to actually review the whole point cost formula. Bodies / orders need to cost more, but the gear attached to that order as well as its stat bumps need to come down in price. In fact, the whole equipment table need to be brought in line.

    Take a alguacil. Half of its cost is its profile (The most basic bare-bones profile). Half of it is its combi. Take out its combi and it becomes a extremely cheap cheerleader - thats the base where warbands build upon - adding discounts for irregular / impetuous.

    MSV1 depends completely on your enemy bringing the skill that it counters to have any effect on the table. And yet, it is more expensive than the skill it counters (mimetism).
    MSV2 is again more expensive than what it counters ( ODD / TO ). Yes, it can interact with smoke - wich is a big bonus, but not everyone has smoke while you pay the price for interacting with smoke on any msv2 unit.
    MSV3 need a rework - functionality and especially pointwise. It is a more expensive MSV2 when MSV2 already borders on too expensive.

    Mimetism is the best skill in the game right now, because it is so ridiculously cheap. It flips a BS attack 3 numbers on your direction, yet it costs less than a single bump in BS on almost all plataforms.

    The interactions between vision mods / visors are generally ok, the problem is that the points costs are out of whack. The proliferation of super effective attack plataforms that depend on mimetism and mimetism + msv just make the problem more obvious

    The feeling in general is - condense and simplify a lot of stuff that does not need to be overly complicated. Infinity has tons of fringe rules that are hardly ever usable, and it is both a slog to remember and a pain to actually attract new people. When you are introducing someone to the game and on any profile that is not a basic alguacil you need to tell "yeah, ignore that rule", it is bad design. There is too much stuff that does too little / things too similar to something else that is covered.

    Examples - 3 different tables for Martial Arts, Protheion and Guard. Double weapons / Full Auto lv1. Mimetism / Full Auto lv2. They are all things that are too similar, ruleswise. I think the idea should be go the way Total Immunity did - Yeah, it works for *everything*. Exceptions are listed on the profile, not a new different rule for each one.

    And stat increments in general should be cheaper. +1 CC is not worth anything the way CC currently works. PH use is very marginal unless you have a thrown weapon. ARM / BTS is only useful if you are already screwed.

    Yes, please. Command tokens are limited already, and the use to change troops is one of those "you are already screwed" situations. You shouldn't be screwed out of that because there are 4 corpses on your main group

    True LOF through buildings make more sense, but also make for a much less fun game due to how open tables can become.
    I didnt even know it was a standard action to open doors.

    In Infinity you are generally limited by the amount of orders you possess, and moving around is very expensive when compared to doing stuff that will win you the game - shooting things and completing objectives. High tables are really pretty, but if you need 2 orders to move to a stair to change floors then that 2nd floor might as well not exist.

    A lot of skills and equipments need to be looked at because they are terribly under / overcosted. Atumedikits are one great example - you spend a order ( the most precious resource you have in the table ) to *maybe* get a guy up. And you paid horrendously for that very inneficient order. If automedikits were auto - start of next turn you rolled a medkit on that troop - then they might warrant their current cost.

    Other things to be looked at - AD3+ (because it is almost never better than AD2), mimetism being way too cheap, MSVs of all sorts, hacking devices ( either HD / AHD need to come down or KHD need to go up ), ...

    There is a lot of things that should be looked at, pricewise.

    Yeah, DHDs need to do something.

    Speculative fire is ok because of how unreliable it is. The problem is on units where it isn't unreliable. E/M grenades being able to stop anything with spec is a problem. Werewolfs being able to spec fire on 13s is a problem. Emily on 15 on a even longer range without any set up is ridiculous.

    G:Jumper simply gives too much of a discount on its current form. I wouldn't mind it keeping the same functionality, but with a lower price discount.
     
    #68 Wyrmnax, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  9. Vanderbane

    Vanderbane Well-Known Member

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    As I said in the News section before it was closed, I think focusing on how to balance this or that unit/strategy/weapon/equipment is missing the forest for the trees. That just shifts the meta: CB nerfs this, and as a result CB buffs that (or vice versa). This isn’t to say I don’t agree there are probably meta changes that might be more _fun_ to try, but I don’t think that fixes what needs to be fixed.

    On a similar note, powercreep/optimization of profiles is really hard to get at, b/c those comparisons look at it at a single unit level or as part of a core link (generally measured by killing), instead of an army level for completing ITS missions. The end result is we both over- and underestimate the power of units b/c they are stripped of their army context. Put another way, I run brawlers all the time in Ikari, but almost never in Spiral. Their cost didn’t change, but their value did.

    With that stuff in mind, I’ll lobby the community again to ask that CB focus on things which would make the game better whatever the meta might be: consistent, readable, inferable rules. Clear schema for resolution of complex interactions. Highlighted exceptions when necessary. Tight definitions on keywords. These kinds of things will make the game _play_better, and then if they also decide that TAGs should get an extra burst or that defensive hacking devices can ARO for allies or whatever, We already have definitions in place so that we can know how that will work at a structural level.

    Almost everything in the rules forum that is unresolved is that way b/c the rules say different things which can’t be reconciled or the words used have different meanings in different contexts. Let’s fix the structure underneath so those conflicts never arise.

    Side note: Once we have the above figured out, here’s one more meta shifting change to add to the pile: any unit/trooper/etc. can press an ITS button (at WIP -3, lets say), and any specialists can do it with WIP as currently, but specialists of the appropriate type can use a (long?) order to auto hit the button push. I suggest the following types be consistent across all missions: Beacon = FO, Console = hacker, Coffin = doctor, Panopoly = engineer.
     
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  10. Wyrmnax

    Wyrmnax Well-Known Member

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    Well, you are correct.

    Stuff like schroedinger's mines, and the amount of really wonky rules interaction make the game way more complex than it needs to be, without adding any depth.

    Sixth sense is one of the best examples of this. There are so many IFs on using it that every time it comes up people need to look up a dozen relevant rules. When it should be something simpler and less conditional:

    "You can delay your ARO declaration until after the declaration of the second short skill of a order that generated a ARO"
    "You can react to a attack from out of LOS as if you had LOS to the attacker if you have a unobstructed Line of Fire to him"
    "You can react to any other attack out of LOS with no penalty from not having LOS to the attacker"
    "You are immune to the effects of Surprise Shot"
    "You ignore the effects of Stealth"

    There, done. No conditionals, no applying once in a blue moon, no forgetting that you had a action because of sixth sense.

    Same thing with AD. How come you can drop a trooper inside the enemy deployment zone but if he scatters there then he is screwed? Either you can or you can't. Less conditionals on rules writing, more certainty and clarity.
     
  11. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    Oh wait I got something: I reckon it would be pretty ok if civilians didn't block trooper movement.
     
  12. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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    That's got nothing to do with conditionals, it's a game balance decision to make AD3 more risky the further up the board you try to land.
     
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  13. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    Hey my first 10-20 games in n2 revolved around 4 chaksa hmg and they definitely dominated the format
     
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  14. ZlaKhon

    ZlaKhon New scale enthusiast

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    Thanks for reposting this! I think this is the most valid point made so far.

    I see many possible changes that would make Infinity more enjoyable for me as a frequent ITS tournament player. But the biggest issue of infinity is that recruiting new players becomes more als more difficult. The amount of casual players who would like to get into infinity, but shy away because of the complexity and the feeling of never getting the hang of all the convoluted rules, seems to be increasing over the years. If N4 manages to deliver a clear cut ruleset that removes as much unnecessary rulesbloat as possible, the game will profit massively from it. Compared to that, meta rebalancing can wait. In the end, we all profit from a lively player base.

    On a side note, it would be cool if CB focuses on delivering that clean ruleset and switches to no longer printing the profiles so that even an across the board rebalancing with an adjusted point formula can be done later in N4.
     
  15. MerloyJenkils

    MerloyJenkils Well-Known Member

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    Since we are throwing stuff out there...

    I would really forget about pointing out things that are current gripes, like the Fatality, etc... I think the trick is in how it is going to be streamlined.

    Some random stuff:

    Orders
    Limited insertion got a bit of interest from players, more manageable, less fussy and I think this is a trend looking into the big heavies that are showing up. I would clear everything about groups and cap at around 12 or 13 orders, period! I know that there is people that likes to Horde, but really this isn't that kind of game in my view. Too much fuss managing 2 groups, even more since MOST people must use the 2nd group just for ARO purposes so they dopn't loose orders. So if you gor for the 13 orders for example you have 3 to spare until you reach 10 and no need for weird groups

    Visual mods
    Regarding what someone said about ODD and visual modifiers. Maybe leave the big weapons like HMG, Rockets etc for "heavy armoured" guys and the visual modifiers for stealthy units with lighter weapons. They should balance out.

    Things like the NWI + Shock imune + etc ... just don't make shock affect NWI and thats it... having the NWI go directly to death after that wound is already a toll on the unit, no need for the shock to affect, the NWI is already too costly.

    MARKER states
    Also very cumbersome with the delay of orders, discover not discover, etc. Too potent I believe.

    Skills
    Won't say specifically but there are a lot of cumbersome skills that aren't used or just should be streamlined like "Alert" " Change facing" etc.

    Crits
    They should still exist but an extra hit or something of the kind instead of instawound.

    Drop Troopers
    Such a cool troop type and stupidly risky... Or just make everyone come from the sides and that's it...

    Streamline
    Really just this would be enough, there is so much bloat on the rules and ammo types and weapon types... Makes it really hard to get into the game. Trying to teach my 10 year old but is so heavy with all the modifiers and little rules...

    **Just saw the previous post with the quotes and it's in the same line, first streamline and adjust for a solid baseline then tweek.
     
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  16. Yog.0

    Yog.0 Member

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    I'd like to see a massive cleanup of abilities and wordings.
    No nested abilities, to start with (should open the design space, too).
    Prune the skills, hard.
    Make NWI+immunity just be another wound already. In fact, remove NWI and make it another wound.
    Fewer states.
    Fewer keywords. Or start using them for something productive.
    Simplify almost everything, getting rid of the incessant keywords and rewrite all the skills/abilities with a less verbose template.
    Get rid of the icons on the profile, make them abilities instead.

    And yeah, hacking probably needs a *slight* rework.

    Rules can be complex and present interesting choices without being complicated and easy to forget about. Exceptions to exceptions hidden in long skill lists is something I'd expect of an '80s RPG, not a modern tactical game.

    [EDIT] And get rid of fireteams :wink: If I wanted a wargame with units, I'd play a wargame with units.
     
    #76 Yog.0, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  17. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    My biggest thing: dont do stuff with "Important!" rules where you have some rules in the rules box and other things not in the rules box. Take regeneration for example. Insteand of saying that it grants shock immunity in the first section, you have a seperate section outside the rules box where additional rules are stated. From a rules legibility standpoint, this creates inconsistencies where sometimes the rules for abilities are all in one place, and sometimes there rules for abilities are spread out all willy-nilly. Its possible to print that stuff inside the rules box in bold or bright red if you want, just put it in the actual box.

    Second: dont try to please all the players. And dont try to make all the factions equally good at everything. Yer gonna lose people in the transition, but that happens over time anyways. People dont always have the time for wargames forever.

    Third: try some new stuff. People are gonna want their factions to just keep doing the same thing but better. Thats a natural impulse, but prolly wrong to go for from a design standpoint. I think it would better to go for remade factions that are actually very different in regards to rules, but have a similar "feel" to how the old versions of their respective factions played. Ive noticed that sometimes in version changes bad rules are kept because of gaming tradition, so prolly try to question if rules are kept hecause they are good or if thats just how you think things should be.

    As for actual rules changes i think could be good:
    Change crits: they should require a confirmation roll to actually do auto damage. Critting on 2s with chaksa hmgs just by rolling a ton of dice is nonsense, especially when shooting against someone who is hitting on like 15+. This is a big complaint ive heard from a lot of players, that gameplay is too dice dependent and random. It leads to a lot of feel bad moments, and deters people from an otherwise pretty solid tactics game. I think having the 2s cancel the other persons shots is fine, but having killed a ton of tags with 4 chaksa, i can tell you that it is bad design.
    Change order pools: feeding 10 orders into a rambo unit prolly feels like its infinity tradition, but i think it would be reasonsble to have a limit on how many times a unit could be moved in a single turn (mebbe 6? With special skills like being a tag letting you overcome that number?)
    Table density: a guideline in the rulebook for table density (20% coverage? 25% coverage) would be nice. Just having a chapter with some guidlines for how to set up a reasonable table could go a long way to making it easier to travel between metas with some confidence that players will see some consistency in table composition. I know some people like having local metas have their own table flavors, but that will exist due to terrain differences already, and having an idea of what a standard table should look like will help a lot from a game balance perspective.


    The crit change is prolly the most important rules chnage we need. Ive heard from a decent amount of wargamers that the only big thing holding them back from infinity is the way the crit system makes games just too random for them. Personally my playstyle revolves around killing things in CC, as the crit system is not nearly as relevant there, and i am much more assured that my tactics wont go awry due to random flukes. The crit system would work if the game wasnt so rules heavy, having random dudes able to kill anything makes sense in a game like heroscape, which was designed for 10 year olds. The amount of rules that you have to learn to play infinity however makes having the current crit system just outdated and a real deterrent for people trying to play serious games.
     
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  18. Wyrmnax

    Wyrmnax Well-Known Member

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    Even so, it ends up with a game state that makes very little sense.
    - Wait, so If I wanted I could drop here? Yes.
    - But If I end up here by accident I get screwed? Yes.

    I understand that there might have been a need for that on a balance perspective, but it is still a bad rule.
     
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  19. Yog.0

    Yog.0 Member

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    God yes. The layout is a mess, and things are presented in so many ways with no overarching logic. Add the FAQ and expansions and the game is near-impossible to teach to regular people.
     
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  20. D_acolyte

    D_acolyte Member

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    My hopes for the game as a whole: Weaken Fireteams, Weaken anti TAG hacking, change the prevalence of MSV ___ and mimitism combined models to something more interesting. Weaken camo, I play Ariadna and I still think it is to strong. Some hidden deployment models without TO.
     
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