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Rebma Boss


Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 116

Posted: 13 Dec 2009 02:18:41 am    Post subject:

Hey, congrats on your own forum, Hot Dog!

You're doing a great job with the game. However, it can be difficult in a game like this to work out defense, and I congratulate you for your work on this. Anyways, just for fun (and since I'm doing math) I decided to see how well your defense would work.

These are some things I noticed:

1. Photon Beam Point Defense is overpowered against Degrusers
2. Plasma Beam Point Defense is overpowered against Raptors
3. AA Defense is overpowered against Splitrons
4. From the looks of your map Orita Five, your average chokepoint is 3 tiles, assuming you're using 16 by 16. Although you have several 2-tile chokepoints, when you get to defense with a range of 4, your DPS makes defense a very cheap way to go...it should be cheap enough to guard valuable bases, but it's TOO cheap for what it can do.

Here's what I've gathered from the information you posted online, I'm estimating your motives behind defense so I can leave some suggestions. So here's what I think you're trying to get at:

1. The perfect counter for point defense should be tanks, and anything other unit will be destroyed in the process
2. Defense should stop one attack from a unit, but not another attack unless it's built up again
3. The perfect counter for Universal Defense should be Splitrons
4. Defense should be built with the purpose of several structures destroying a unit, rather than one structure destroying a unit

So, I did the math and here's some ideas for defense...you still need to test for balance, but mathematically speaking, this will even the odds more until the testing point

Photon Beam Point Defense:

Cost: 35
Damage Per Second: 3
HP: 52
Notes: Three of these lined up would destroy a Raptor, and continuous pile-ups would be a cost-effective, though inconvienent, counter to Degrusers. Two lined up would not be enough to destroy a Raptor, but would leave it damaged.

Plasma Beam Point Defense:

Cost: 120
Damage Per Second: 4
HP: 160
Notes: For three lined up, Degrusers and Raptors are both effective, but would not win the battle. If the player decides to invest in having two rows, this is especially powerful, though expensive. Tanks, once again, are effective counters if they have their extended range upgrade.

AA Defense:

Cost: 100
Damage Per Second: 4
HP: 70
Range: 4
Notes: You should have damage from AA Defense occur to the Camoza. Otherwise, a player can keep sending Camoza after Camoza able to bypass defenses safely without Universal Defense setup at the entrance. At only 350 cost, this means cheap suicide attacks at a hugh loss of money for the enemy player. However, it seems your goal is trying to make a Camoza weak to ship weapons while having opportunities to make it safely inside an enemy base. If you do the math, a Camoza could make it inside a base from being fast enough to minimize the damage it recieves before exiting the range of the AA defense. Plus, remember that cloaked units and ground units are perfect counters for AA defense, and when the AA defense is down, you could send a Camoza in. Whatever the case, Camozas should be allowed to destroy defense as well.

Universal Defense:

Cost: 600
Damage Per Second: 6 to Air, 12 to Ground
HP: 500
Range: 5
Notes: The differences in HP for ground and air is for balance. Splitrons will still be a perfect counter for Universal Defense, but not so much that Universal Defense will be a waste of money.

I hope this helps...you can take any suggestions, come up with your own ideas, ask any questions, etc.
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Advanced Member

Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 291

Posted: 13 Dec 2009 08:12:02 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, Rebma! I did a little bit of visualizing the game in my head, and you're correct. However, I cannot take your suggestions, because you actually made me realize the problem with my idea of defense in general. So I'm going to take a different approach in defense, which I'll describe later this week (in addition to what the problem was). There will still be two forms of point defense, one form of AA defense, and Universal Defense, but a different method.
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Advanced Member

Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 291

Posted: 14 Dec 2009 11:19:42 pm    Post subject:

Rebma Boss has graciously offered to be our new balance designer, so we welcome him to the development team. We spent this morning discussing the defense systems, and he suggested several modifications.

So here's the gist:

In a normal RTS game, defensive buildings can be built next to each other, far away from each other, any positions you desire, and the defense will neither be overpowering nor a waste of money. But if this approach of defensive-buildings next to each other is used in S.A.D. (like it used to be), this causes problems for three reasons:

1. The range of defenses is square, not circular.
2. You can only control one unit. The issue is when defense is stacked together, the amount of defense increases expotentially rather than by a set amount. The thing that's important is that by being able to control one unit, two defensive buildings placed next to each other could be a waste of money, but three placed next to each other would be just the right amount, and four placed next to each other would be way too cheap. I can't explain this better without a diagram, but the point is, one unit at a time is not a cost-effective way to take out defense this way.
3. You control your unit manually, and can move/fire in only 8 directions. This means although there are places you could move to avoid being hit by more than one defensive structure (like in a standard RTS game) it can be tedious and, in some cases, impossible.

So the idea is to try to work out defense so that the only way a unit can be hit by multiple defense is by not scouting the area first and, therefore, making a careless move. Then it will be much easier to design defense so that it is not too cheap and not too expensive.

To help with this, Remba Boss suggested starting by having only one kind of Point Defense, and changing the range of Universal Defense to 4. INCIDENTALLY, for any changes made to any units, they will be listed in a Forum called "Unit Changes," as well as edited in the "S.A.D. Structures" and "S.A.D. Units" forums.

Anyways, the method used to help with balancing defense (for a cautious player) is preventing defensives buildings by being built so close together.


This is a diagram of the area around a typical Point Defense Structure. The range is 3 vertically, horizontally, diagonally, etc. away from the point defense. (Black color wherever possible) The red is each 16x16 area where you cannot put a second Point Defense, because there is some area where a player could be hit by dual fire even with extreme caution. The yellow indicates where Universal Defense cannot be built (but you CAN put standard point defense in that area)...if Universal Defense covers 4 yellow squares (as opposed to 1, 2 or 3), there would be some area where a player would be hit by dual fire even with extreme caution. Any black or white squares means defense can be placed in that area. In addition, Universal Defense can be placed on a 32 x 32 area if it isn't on top of 4 yellow squares.


This is a diagram of the area around a typical Anti-Air Structure. The concept is the same, but the blue represents where you cannot put a second AA defense.

With this in mind, AA Defense and Point Defense can be built right next to each other without any issues.


This last diagram is the area around a typical Universal Defense Structure. The range is 4 vertically, horizontally, diagonally, etc. away from the Universal Defense. (Black Color wherever possible). The green represents a 16 x 16 tile where you cannot put Point Defense or AA Defense. The yellow indicates where Universal Defense cannot be built (but you CAN put standard point defense in that area)...if Universal Defense covers 4 yellow squares (as opposed to 1, 2 or 3), there would be some area where a player would be hit by dual fire even with extreme caution. The purple squares are additional Universal Defense no-nos, as well as areas where you cannot put AA Defense or Point Defense.

So if a player is careful, this system prevents overpowering of defense...if defense gives you more than your money's worth, it's the enemy player's fault, not yours.

By the way, this might be the best time to say that the cost of ships and buildings is subject to change when we find out how fast money comes in from refineries. If money comes in quickly, units will be more expensive. If it comes in slowly, units will be cheaper.

EDIT: The red and blue squares are additional Universal Defense no-nos. So if Universal Defense would cover 4 red, blue, yellow or purple squares, it cannot be built in that area.

Last edited by Guest on 15 Dec 2009 09:45:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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