Cray Balance. The Noob input

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Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby Van » 22 Jun 2015 02:10

Hey people, finally made my way around the forums (might be a lil late though ;P)


The Problem that I've noticed
So I've been peeking about on the balancing you guys been doing and I can atleast say that I think it's impressive (I can't see the original Cray being any better atleast) and the mod feels great to play with. All of the roll outs have been looking slicks, the changelogs are great so you get to know the actual changes and when I look through the conversations I see that people care for this game, no matter their opinion of it.

What I've been reading and noticing myself is that even if you favor Cray you won't play cray (I Myself just like the aesthetics of them alot more and I think, that the Armoured Vanguard idea of them is neat). Order is almost always a better option due to the synergy their units bring. Long range, accurate supports. Incredible tanks (4 out of the 4 tiers are used by many players) and the fact that their most favored equipment (Shield) allows you to fuck up if you are new or if you are a vet, use it for some devious plans. While the cray are left with a "Bad" Shield (AMS) which makes your squad and nearby squads almost immune to missile fire. After modding most of the tanks are useful, but before modding. Lights and scouts weren't worthy to bring to the fields, with Meds being a rare exception to the Heavies (From what I've read, not out of experience). The only thing that the Cray bring uniquely to the table is the Rockets, which are IMO the thing that makes us think about cray the way we do, because they are Crays Uniqueness outside of the turrets (Which you guys fixed by putting em on the lights, which opened up that tier of tanks)

The more I've been playing with you guys, I've learned about things that I never even knew about earlier (The turret tracking thing, Kudos to whomever noticed it, or the scale up mine sizes...). There is many things I've still gotta learn. But I see some things that the cray doesn't do in context to the OND.

The Cray doesn't allow for a single Fuck Up. If you fuck up, you are out of the game pretty quickly and learning how to play cray Ghat good, requires playing them, for hours upon hours. While a newcomer (Such as myself) won't invest into that, so I've saddled into OND. because I can't "Learn" Cray, because cray doesn't "allow" it in the same way as OND does.

I Believe that one of the big reasons why cray isn't favored, even after most of the balancing is that none is as good at playing cray as they are at playing OND, because people have been playing OND for more hours and where they have been allowed to make mistakes (Sometimes costly, but not at all as costly as it is to make a mistake with cray).

Top this of with that even when you are playing cray effectively you will not "notice" it as well as when you are playing OND, when you play OND effectively you rack in kills, you hunt, your are the predator. While playing Cray is about setting up a safe zone, using specialized units to set up no go zones and shepherd people into the strength of the OND players on your team or taking out high priority targets with Jags/Rockets.

TL.DR. Learning to play cray effectively is much less rewarding and more punishing then learning to play OND. Learning to play cray also takes more out of game time, because they are not a valuable pick on all maps. Lastly Cray is worse compared to OND (not as much now as before)

Solutions?
There are no easy solutions to the problem, atleast not in the short run. What we need is both that players that like playing Cray can stick to cray in the same way as OND players can keep playing OND, without getting the unavoidable "are you really going cray on this map?" question whenever you pick them in a open field map.

Also Cray has a much steeper learning curve (I can't imagine how much time Ghat has put into playing with the cray as he pulls them of whenever he can) since you cannot play them on all maps and be succesful, the players learn that even if you like cray you have to learn OND, because they simply outclass Cray in so many situations. The last thing that the OND has over cray is the shield, which is one of the best equips in the game, but also allows for you to make a bad play and go "oh, I shouldn't do that again, that would've killed my meds, now it only drained an equipment".

I like Carters suggestion on the countermeasures thingie, the one being a Repair Kit that also acts as an AMS. I didn't get the strength of the AMS until I played a few games of cray and read up on it. But if you get it with your repairkit, you will notice that it is popping those darned specs and keeping your guys on the battlefield. You will notice why it is good, directly when you play with it (Hey I get healed from this. and later on you notice, while you are being healed, you are popping those god darn instakilling things)

Other then that, you guys have been bringing the bad units back into the game. But Cray still needs to be able to DO something in open warfare. something that makes them able to survive the OND Hit & Run tactics and somehow retaliating. The question is where do we want to bring this. Like in the old thread Stat did about the testing. Do we want to balance cray. I would say yes. We want to make cray an acceptable choice on any map. This isn't about making scouts good in open warfare vs Heavies. This is about making both factions of the game into a battle force that can tackle both sides of combat, but in different ways.

OND cover both their bases by being Hit & Runners, they thrive on Open ground because that's where they can shine on their speed. But in closed terrain you can pop some shield and vanguard infront of some beams and try to duke it out with the Cray

The Cray on the other hand, only cover one of the bases, by fighting in closed ground by entrenching behind heavy guns and armour, waiting for the enemy to come to them. But how are they supposed to fight on open ground. The answer "They Don't" won't really do as it discriminates the player base and allows people who prefer cray to quit eventually as their favorite faction aint playable. (I prefer playing Random Faction in other games and adapting to what luck gives me, But in GC, that would be to much of a gamble as on the wrong map, cray CAN'T Perform due to their limitations)

Buffing them straight up will only tilt the problem, making Cray the favored faction and leaving OND in the dust. As this would make Cray great in both scenarios but make OND "unplayable" in closed terrain scenarios as they would just be blasted off the ground.

My biggest bet to start with would be to try to give Cray the same Failsafe as the OND. In some form, so the player can learn them. But even a veteran will tell mostly anyone that OND is stronger due to one of the following Reasons: Speed, Shields, more choices (Drones).

So. please discuss my thoughts ;P I will try to pop in and out and keep discussing this as I think this is one of the main reason the game is not pulling in people, the other reasons being it's old age (I've had people genuinely interested until I tell them how old it is) and the different Genre. As it isn't a standard genre defined game, it will have problem getting a fan base. Hope to see you discuss some of it atleast ^^

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby shpooky » 22 Jun 2015 22:38

sadly the AMS+HEALING equipment is not possible due to ground controls engine you cant have more then 2 things in a equipment
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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby Admiral Ghat » 23 Jun 2015 03:33

We've been back and forth on this topic for a long time and it's hard to pin down the kind of solution you're looking for. I think the patch did a good job of addressing the "useless" units and giving them purpose, which naturally affected more Crayven units. I think all tiers are useful now. Even now, people are still finding some new ways to use the updates. Mind had a pretty serious run this weekend with the rockets on speed and power plant equipment enabled. On Wartorn, was pretty difficult to get shots in even on open terrain.

In my opinion, OND is perceived as easier to play because it has a more straightforward style. In general, CC requires more focus on combined arms. That's not a bad thing, though. You can still go head to head against OND but you need the right tools. It's also easier to reconfigure CC to fit different play styles. They might be best in a hardened base/turtle role, but are also really good in a guerrilla warfare.

As far as newer players, I think it's a real shame that people would dismiss the game just because it's relatively old. I might be biased, but the game has held up really well. The graphics are dated but still decent, and of course the gameplay is second to none. Maybe have people play it and then let them guess how old it is without telling them first? Could be a good idea to do a new player "clinic" and run some 1v1 or small sessions on ventrilo, pairing veteran players with new players. That way it shouldn't be too intimidating in 4v4 games right off the bat. I'm more than happy to do either CC or OND tutorial type games with any new player and share tips and tricks.

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby Van » 23 Jun 2015 03:56

To bad on the combined equipment things. But it might not be the best solution to the problem.

Also Ghat, I think you are right about all the points on both graphics and game-play, but ppl generally get suspicious on older games. So the hidding idea is cool. Also I think it's cool ppl are still noticing cool stuff is possible with the cray in open terrain. We just might have to start playing them more. (Might do it myself next weekend)

The Genre of the game is hard to describe, a friend of mine which I'm almost certain would love the game if he got into it dismisses it because it feels to RTS, while RTS ppl dismiss it because it feels to much like a shooter. (Why can't people stop being biased due to genres!)

I like the Tutorial thingie, It would help people like me when I stumbled in to get more accustumed to the game and learn the Veteran tricks, like turret tracking and other cool stuff right off the bat and even the playing ground a lil bit (I guess in the end, a very, very small potential of new players will catch up the the 15+ years many of you guys have spent in this game)

More so, One of the things I would like to try to brainstorm is how we can get a "I Fucked up" button to cray, without making them TO good since they are hitting a more and more balanced space the more we play them atm (Even though I think they could use a lil more HP on some stuff since they are behind on pretty much everything, but that might just be me doing crazy talk)

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby DarixIta » 24 Jun 2015 18:25

GC still looks very good considering it's age, but nowadays people tend to look a lot graphics rather than gameplay. So telling them it's a 15 year old game will certainly not have a great impact. The tutorial might be a good idea to prevent, those few new guys who join, from leaving. Or also having someone spectating the new guy while playing and giving advice.
As for the cray balance, it has been discussed a lot in the past, but no real solutions have been found. Keep in mind that crayven have superior AA and air units, thats why you will see mostly cray players in different kind of games from the usual DM

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby Sarvik » 25 Jun 2015 11:26

I do'nt really think that making cray noob friendly is good idea as it would probably require making them more similar to OND. That said, there probably is some space for improvements to help their performance in open maps. Like maybe change never used HE round special into some sort of long range weapon.

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby Van » 25 Jun 2015 15:56

Making them noob friendly is a very vague term to be honest and I don't think it would make them more like OND. I'm going to try to brainstorm together some equips or weapons that can help you out in a tight spot, but doesn't promote the same kind of gameplan as OND during the next couple of days. To see if I can come up something interesting.

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby shpooky » 25 Jun 2015 17:44

wasent cray suppose to to be the noob friendly faction? i mean you start with the cray faction in the campaign for ground control anyway

i also have a idea


could we try balanceing the game in a diffrent way instead of makeing cray and ond balanced, instead lets make a circle :D(this includes DC)

why dont we try somthing like this -ond eats cray,cray eats phx,and phx eats ond, its already kinda set that way in DC just need to improve on it :D

phx web makes it so that ond cant run
cray ams is really good against the phx faction it lasts a long time and does not have a cool down so webing cray isint too effective(it just seems that way to me i havent played MP in DC cause no one plays it D:)
and phx does not have much in the terms of ams or shields so hell rockets would be very affective against them
and we already know how ond murders cray D:

idk i just like this idea cause i would love to see very diverse DM'S with all 3 factions on each team

yes i know phx is a bad faction and DC is kinda crap but i think we can fix all this i dont like the idea of makeing ond and cray balanced(well i do its just i like this idea as well)

i want it to be balanced via all 3 factions in a circle of life kind of thing, and yes i started thinking of lion king when i said that :D
this would make team work even more important to GC gameplay idk if you guys like this idea or not but i sure do
Last edited by shpooky on 26 Jun 2015 16:32, edited 3 times in total.
i only work in cyan and sometimes really really bright blue :D so bright it burns your eyes!!!!!

(if you have any questions don't be afraid to PM me or you can contact me via email ddavidshpak@aol.com)

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby stAtrill » 26 Jun 2015 02:23

Van wrote:I'm going to try to brainstorm together some equips or weapons ... [t]o see if I can come up something interesting.
I am just peeking into this thread now, but keep this in mind:
-There are very few things we can actually modify in game. I created a thread where I listed them all out (including undocumented ones I found from digging through the .exe): viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5877
-All other effects (re: ams, demos, mines, etc) are hacks and the equipment files we can modify are essentially aesthetic for these equipments (this prevented the combining of AMS and healing, etc)

Privately, we have tried a whole bunch of other combinations, some of which made it into the community update.

I guess I should mention that I am game for another update if the community is. It is only really a matter of free time :P

As a discussion topic, a few weeks ago it occurred to me that it may be wiser to have CC trade armor instead of speed. Currently, CC can't usually take offensive (or other types) of tanks as the speed penalty on top of the faction speed penalty (+ under-attack speed penalty etc) is too much for gameplay. If people were interested, the change might feel something like this:

-15% CC faction-wide health buff

-CC loadouts changed to reduce total health capacity instead of speed
-->Balanced loadout: full health, normal damage, normal speed
-->Offensive loadout: 15% reduced health, 1.5x damage, normal speed
-->Speed loadout: 15% reduced health, normal damage, 1.2x speed
-->Stealth loadout: 35% reduced health, normal damage, normal speed

This would allow CC to vary loadouts on all maps (regardless of terrain type), increase tactical variation available to CC, and additionally serves to further differentiate the two factions. Not to mention, a loadout speed penalty doesn't make sense on CC, whereas it does make sense on OND, due to the difference in mobility in the factions. This would synergize better with the CC under-attack speed penalty too.

Just something I have been mulling over - though maybe I should have posted this in the Update thread. What do you guys think of the above?

-Stat

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Re: Cray Balance. The Noob input

Postby shpooky » 26 Jun 2015 16:23

i like the idea stat

and it would make the factions even more different

people were scared you might make the factions too similar but so far ive seen you makeing them even more different then they were before and this is a example
i only work in cyan and sometimes really really bright blue :D so bright it burns your eyes!!!!!

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