The current version of moviebattles is the worst balanced iteration since 2008

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I have been playing the game since day 1 of b19 back in 2008 (?). I have played hundreds of matches and thousands of rounds on public servers at various times in the game's lifespan, played with and against the best players in the game so I feel like I have the experience to be able to say that v1.6 is the worst balanced version of MBII that I can remember. There are so many balance issues the game is hardly playable. I'm gonna try to keep this post as brief as possible but it's pretty much going to have to include almost every aspect of the game so strap in.

1. Saber vs gun.
I don't know there's a single person who plays this game and thinks the current saber vs gun balance is good (at least I hope there isn't). Before even getting into any details, the most important thing: fp drains. They're completely out of whack, for some guns they're a little too low (pistol 3, bowcaster, ee3), for others they are so low that there's almost no point shooting a jedi until he's actually swinging his saber at you (e11). Any jedi can strafe in front of any gunner and not lose fp fast enough to outpace passive regen. They can kill your teammate, have 20 fp, get out of IDR and regen their fp while you're continuously shooting them and there's nothing you can do about it. I was told there are some number tweaks for drains that didn't make it into the game from the beta and if that's the case I'm honestly dumbfounded how there wasn't a hotfix already (or, preferably, a year ago when everyone realized this is the situation).

Now, on to flinch vs knockback. I've made my position clear on the discord but I'll repeat it here. When I was on the beta team with M00, Hexodious and GoodOl'Ben we tried to implement a knockback mechanic on bodyshots scored within IDR and decided to scrap it, here's how things played out: if the knockback distance was too short, it wasn't punishing enough as the jedi could just try to swing again. If it was longer, the jedi would be knocked out of IDR and be allowed a free reset since the gunner could no longer drain his fp effectively. These tests resulted in the mechanic we had over the last however many versions, flinch, and I personally think it is a much better solution provided that the fp drains are in a good place. I don't understand the logic of going back to a mechanic that was scrapped in testing, but maybe there's something I'm missing here. In either case I think hotfixing the fp drains should have been a priority months ago when the new values were introduced and everyone instantly knew they were completely retarded.

2. Class balance.
I'm gonna go over some of the most recent changes but also some older ones, this is pretty much gonna include almost every class in the game and how I feel about their current states. I'm not gonna go into how each classes gun also drains too little force because that's a given and also covered above

- soldier and ET: starting off with what I think are the 2 best balanced classes in the game. These dudes should be the gold standard upon which all class design decisions are judged. Simple, high skill cap, low/medium skill floor, easy for new players to pick up but extremely deadly in the hands of a real boy gamer. Some extra flavour added with conc nades, dodge, a different gun for ETs, an amazing teamwork oriented ability in rally/assemble, fun to play and balanced. It's obviously a coincidence that neither soldier nor ET were touched in a meaningful way for at least 2-3 years.

- wookiee: on to what I think is the 2nd biggest offender after jedi, the wookiee bowcaster nerf was completely unwarranted and it ruined an extremely important dynamic of the game. Rebels are the attacking team on almost all maps. Rebels need attacking classes and that was the role the old wookiee bowcaster 2, str/hp 3 build did. You were a run & gun dead simple killing machine - immune to knockdowns, with a large hp pool and a strong gun but a huge hitbox and 0 utility to balance things out. Wookiees used to be strong, yes, but not overpowered, and more importantly they filled an important role in the reb team, being able to push, gain map control with their force-immune presence and deal massive damage at the same time. They were still very susceptible to well positioned bounty hunters, soldiers and especially ETs with t21 (which has since been nerfed for no reason as far as I remember) due to their large hitbox and slow movespeed. Perfect mix of balance, fun and team utility. Well, someone though it would be a good idea to ruin that and turn them into a gimmick class that almost has to use rage (I'm not gonna go into how stupid I think rage is because this post is gonna be too long). The current iteration, which has gained some of the rate of fire back and retained charged shot on bowcaster level 2 is still too weak and most importantly incapable of attacking imperials camping corridors which is what rebels NEED so badly. Charged shot promotes camping. Slow rate of fire promotes camping. Wookiees need to be frontline juggernauts, not sitting around a box charging up their gun. Their gun just doesn't match the rest of their kit and more importantly it doesn't match their role in the team.

- hero, bounty hunter: these 2 are together because I think the recent change to proj was very poorly thought out in the context of bounty hunters existing on the defending team. Let's compare the 2 big sniper rifles: proj and ruptor. Disruptor has always been much stronger because it's hitscan and because it's on the defending team (broadly speaking) which meant you could hold an angle and not be forced to take fights you don't want to take. Proj has slow bullets but heroes have dodge to balance it out. Well now the balance has been skewed in the imperials favour with the damage nerf for proj, now you've got a 1shot hitscan weapon vs a 2shot projectile weapon. I have around 1 billion hours on these 2 classes and personally think the perfect solution in terms of balancing them against eachother and the rest of the cast would be also nerfing disruptor's damage to something similar to current proj (2shot chest 1shot headshot) but returning the ability to hit into dodge with headshots. Now snipers wouldn't be as much of a threat to other classes unless they can score consistent headshots (near impossible in mb2 due to engine limitations) but at the same time the sniper vs sniper metagame would be balanced in a way where they can take eachother out with relative ease.

- mando, ARC: these 2 also go together for brevity but also because they suffer from similar issues. They are way too easy to kill and offer little power in return. Ever since the bullet speed increase years ago, the speed at which a mandalorian flies is just not enough. Their jetpacks need a major buff in terms of the ability to change direction to stop them being sitting ducks. I don't know what the solution is for ARCs, maybe give them max stamina and dex as baseline, but they definitely need SOMETHING to be able to compete, they've been absolute trash in 1v1 ever since I remember. I don't play them much so I don't have much to offer here but I play against them ARCs are pretty much free frags for almost every imperial class. Yes they have utility which is great and useful in some specific situations, but they're not fun to play in and of themselves because they're just so fucking weak in 1v1s.

3. Imp vs reb balance.
Yeah so if you've read through all that stuff in 2, some key concepts for rebel classes are so gimped right now that the imp vs reb balance is completely fucked. Broadly speaking rebels are the attacking team, imps are the defenders. Rebels need pushing power. They need classes that can get entry frags (used to be hero and wookiee), classes that take map control (used to be wookiee), classes that can flank (should be ARC, but how can you flank when you can't win a 1v1?). Right now they have none of those. Imperial classes are so much stronger in almost every facet of the game it feels worse than ever to play rebels. This is further exacerbated by the fact most maps are very defender biased, and I feel like that should also be taken into account when balancing the game and it really doesn't seem to be. Some of the changes made in recent updates sadly feel like they were decided on in a vacuum by some very poorly informed people and it shows in the game - look at the server list on any given day, how many people do you see that have played this game for more than a year or 2? I don't see any of the good players I used to play with and sure, you can say they just quit organically and it's probably true to some degree, but I know for a fact many people that I know don't play the game anymore because it's so poorly balanced. You may also say 'who cares about old players, we need new players!' and that is also a fair point, but if you wanna keep those new players around you need a well designed game. I really hope the dev team reads this and at least considers some of the things I say because you may or may not like it (and I know the dev team doesn't like my feedback and never did wanna listen to it) but I have more experience and game knowledge than almost anyone and so do my friends who agree with most if not all of the things in the post above. MB2 feels like it's on life support right now and it desperately needs some changes to bring the game back into its former glory.
 
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PS. i wanted to talk about a million other things but i didn't wanna drone on for too long and I feel like it's more than likely gonna fall on deaf ears. In case any dev cares i'm more than willing to talk on discord
 
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Fluffy |>

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All you guys that are Open mode veterans should apply for the beta team - we could really do with some experienced voices who know the full scope of the games development to help make decisions and opinions
 

GoodOl'Ben

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I do mirror much of the sentiment that Qwerty has. I wouldn't go as far as saying that the balance is the worst its been since 2008 though. I'm still having a lot of fun playing the game and for me that's #1. The new patch did a lot that increased the fun factor for me. Kudos to the team for all the amazing new features and maps.

Disclaimer: I'd like to highlight that I'm not currently active in the team, so any thoughts I present are just my own. Quite frankly my opinions are somewhat hypocritical, as I could be there to work on them myself. I have the utmost love for the hard work the active team keeps doing. Any critique I have is coming from a place of love and should not be taken as a jab at anyone's hard work.

I'd love to see some simple "numbers only" patches in the near future oriented towards balance. These types of patches would be simplest to push out. There could be many simple number tweaks lying dormant that could really bring out exciting ways to play these different characters. I'll highlight a few that I got from reading Qwerty's stuff. Read the bolded bits for a TL;DR, the rest can be considered elaboration and my reasoning.

Qwerty raises a fun point about Wookiees and their role on the offensive. I think further raising the rate of fire for the Bowcaster might be a slightly boring approach. A high rate of fire would grant a great deal of DPS and can really lockdown enemies behind a corner, but perhaps there could be other ways to create the same result? Perhaps making the Bowcaster always accurate and the bullets faster? Faster bullets would mean that corners are locked down by default when a skilled Wookiee is on the field. Always accurate shots would in turn enable for faster movement on the field, which promotes survivability and offensive play.

The Mandalorian could easily get more control with the Jetpack if we simply increase how much push the Jetpack gets from directional input.

The ARC is an interesting class to think about as well. The class has a lot of exciting interactions, but they are generally locked behind specific builds. Dexterity 3 in particular makes the class super unique and powerful in 1v1. However, it's a 30 point investment. This is 3 rockets you can't get. It's 3 pulses. The trade-off is definitely compelling, but I think it may be too absolute. Start off by dropping the Dex costs and let's see where ARC lands after that. Something like 2-4-8 could prove interesting. This gives Dex 3 builds a total of 16 points more to work with, which in turn would be a huge power spike, due to the additional utility you can afford.

For Disruptor I wouldn't go as far as bringing it down to the same level of damage as the Projectile Rifle. The Projectile Rifle's unique feature that bypasses armour partially makes it very potent even at 100 base damage. The Disruptor can't do that, so it would effectively deal fatal blows far less likely. I believe Proj can kill almost all classes with a chest shot, except ones with 80-100 armour. The Disruptor would greatly struggle at this with 100 base damage, since the armour would soak pretty much all of the damage received. Giving Ruptor around 120-130 base damage would essentially create the same results. Optionally I would keep Disruptor's damage as it is, but adjust the damage charge-up's curve. Full charge would still deal 150, but anything before that would be drastically lower. I think this would make the Disruptor and Proj play a lot differently from each other, while keeping them fairly equal.

As for Jedi/Sith vs Guns, I did prefer flinch. It made the on-hit behaviour consistent and predictable between states (regular attack vs swingblock). I'd say we should remove swingblock blaster deflection if we want to get rid of flinch. Then the behaviours are consistent.

At the end of the day though FP drains are more important to get right. Something crazy I've been thinking of is increasing the FP drains greatly across the board, while increasing FP regen as well. Essentially this would bring more importance to the play-by-play moments rather than the macro level. RC1 boasted a fairly good example of this, but I would say that the draw back RC1 had was that there was no fast FP regen, so Jedi had very little ability to recover after losing their FP.

There are a lot of interesting interactions and gameplay you can bring out just through numbers alone.
 

SeV

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At the end of the day though FP drains are more important to get right. Something crazy I've been thinking of is increasing the FP drains greatly across the board, while increasing FP regen as well. Essentially this would bring more importance to the play-by-play moments rather than the macro level. RC1 boasted a fairly good example of this, but I would say that the draw back RC1 had was that there was no fast FP regen, so Jedi had very little ability to recover after losing their FP.
Since early 2017 I've been saying high fp drains high fp regen, but that is 3 years ago. Whatever amazing things you guys speculate about in this thread, it makes little difference if the devs don't do something tangible like actually making an effort to fix the gameplay rather than wasting what precious little development time they have on unimportant things.
 

Fluffy |>

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I really want to see a load of different ideas for tackling drains, knockback, flinch, etc being thrown out to public beta tests to see what actually works or not
 

Starushka

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I would like to see high drains like drains Q3 had in v0. Maybe a bit lower at close distance.
If you make regen too strong gunner would not be able to finish off jedi if some object nearby to dance around it.
 
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I agree with you on mando and arc. Those 2 classes are supposed to be mobile. The control over the mando jetpack needs to be changed. It needs more offfensive potential and not just running away. Mando p3 also needs more fp drain. Arcs are pretty weak unless they are in the hands of someone who knows how to use them. I would like them to be a class that has a huge focus on dodging like the scout from tf2.

Wookies sound way more instresting in past versions than they ever were in my 5 months of playing. Wookies need to be run and gun. You need to feel like you are a tank,savage or a unstoppable force while playing them. Not a primtive species that has to resort to camping.

As a frequent soldier player I agree with your points. They don't need to be changed at all. They feel so good to do well with.

I have no comments on the snipers since I don't use them. I'm conflicted on the nerf since i miss being terrifed of snipers. But now they take much more skill

Looking at the classes as defense and offensive would help the devs balance things out better.

One last thing
How did flinch work? I never knew it existed until it was removed
 

Fluffy |>

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Flinch cancelled a jedi or sith swing if they were shot during the animation. The main problem of flinch is that the saberist could instantly swing again in range so you needed to hit nearly every shot if they got close in to your face
 
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Really valid ideas from Ben and Qwerty, I pledge my full support for them. Except high fp drains requiring a high fp regen. I feel like that is again giving saberists a needlessly big lifeline for making mistakes or not being able to finish off a gunner, and as earlier mentioned, enforces its ability to dance around objects too much while regaining back a metaphorical shield to try again. At least a saberist's ability to sustain its life should be taken into consideration before raising fp regen, because at this moment it is still far too easy to prolong your death even with 1 hemisphere of a brain.
 
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Flinch cancelled a jedi or sith swing if they were shot during the animation. The main problem of flinch is that the saberist could instantly swing again in range so you needed to hit nearly every shot if they got close in to your face
Thank you for telling me!
 

GoodOl'Ben

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Really valid ideas from Ben and Qwerty, I pledge my full support for them. Except high fp drains requiring a high fp regen. I feel like that is again giving saberists a needlessly big lifeline for making mistakes or not being able to finish off a gunner, and as earlier mentioned, enforces its ability to dance around objects too much while regaining back a metaphorical shield to try again. At least a saberist's ability to sustain its life should be taken into consideration before raising fp regen, because at this moment it is still far too easy to prolong your death even with 1 hemisphere of a brain.
The drains would need to be higher than they've ever been for it to work. Significantly so. Think 20-35 FP per shot from E11 up close depending on whether blocking or not. Either way, it's a pretty out there idea and would need a lot of work around it to make it viable.
 
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Agree with most of what qwerty and Ben said, except I think the proj nerf was a welcome change, and I think flinch is and always will be a terrible mechanic. Just increase knockback drastically.
 
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The drains would need to be higher than they've ever been for it to work. Significantly so. Think 20-35 FP per shot from E11 up close depending on whether blocking or not. Either way, it's a pretty out there idea and would need a lot of work around it to make it viable.
This seems to conflict even more with the idea of knockback, since not only is knockback the punishment for a failed attack (assuming a bit more knockback than current value) it would be 35 fp per shot. I guess in practise it could work, but right now it sounds like it doesn't encourage saberists to make a swing at all with those massive punishments, promoting either block holding or constant jumping or backtracking away from slightest gunner danger.
 

Tempest

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Good insight and I agree on a lot of the points.

1) FP drains
I'm pretty sure these have gotten so low to balance out flinch's behavior (there's a lot that was basically forced to be balanced around sabers basically having extremely hard times dealing with close range, which is kind of where they have to be to kill people, but they also have all of the utility to gap close, and so on and so on until you see how much of a mess it all becomes to try and layer these things to balance out flinch). The FP drains that were tested in the gunner beta basically amounted to saberists being stuck at mid range if they wanted to be able to keep up their FP regen vs decent amounts of blaster fire (thinking it was maybe 2 sets of half concentrated shots? been too long to remember). The numbers felt fair (pretty much perfect TBH) for both sides while also feeling fair in close range (although that was also with no damage reduction as well, which is a separate point to look at).

2) Damage reduction
I don't think saberists should have damage reduction by default as a baseline thing. They should either have to have it as an upkeep (e.g. in the form of Protect) or it should be something they have to give up things like level 3 powers (see old Q3 balancing) to have. I also think that in whatever form that the swingblock-canceling-follow up shots mechanic continues to exist should still cause damage on the shot that's blocked.

3) Wookiee
I think the Bowcaster rate of fire nerfs were probably a bit much prior (this, combined with bug fixing the charged damage, was a really big hit to it). This is a decent part of why I want to separate FP drains from damage (so we both don't run into this situation as well as making it so high RoF weapons aren't going to auto kill saberists by default when FP drains aren't stupid). The ideas Ben mentioned would be interesting to try out.

4) Hero vs BH
As far as Disruptor being left alone, this was mostly due to the patch being focused on number tweaks rather than looking harder at all of the potential interactions. I think it got looked over because it's used a lot less often/not mentioned as much but it was by no means forgotten as far as looking at adjustments.

5) Imp vs Reb balance
I'll include ARC in this since I think buffs to it would help a lot in this regard as well. I've wanted to include Dex 2 as a baseline part of ARC for a while just to see how much of a difference an extra pulse or rocket would make. I think that there's quite a few things about most of the classes that should be rolled into them by default, which by default would open up more options elsewhere.
 
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I've played a good 10 hours of mb2 since making the original post and have some extra thoughts:

1. Clone stamina should be 4-4-4 instead of 5-5-5 so you can do stamina 1, cr2, reinforcement, armour 3 and blobs 2. Level 2 of blobs only gives you 4 so dropping that for stamina 1 isn't worth, and clones in general i think are a little underpowered compared to ETs so that might be a good little boost. I also have a feeling like their gun doesn't do quite enough damage per shot, maybe an extra 3-5% base damage would be a good idea.

2. The projectile rifle nerf was unnecessary. I don't know if proj was a problem in the previous version in terms of how many people played it and how dominant hero was but I'm guessing it wasn't that bad at all. It certainly wasn't very dominant in the past when I used to play regularly and if anything, hero has gotten weaker since. In any case, I think the skill required to hit consistently with the proj rifle is high enough to where the previous damage values were more appropriate. Right now hero feels very weak unless you go with a close range dodge 3 build and I think that's great too, it's certainly something new that wasn't really a thing in past versions but I also think you should have an equally powerful choice in building around the proj rifle and right now those builds feel very lackluster. I keep hearing the argument that it forces you to go for headshots and that that's a good thing but I completely disagree. I have like 1 million hours of playtime on hero and I've never seen anyone who can score consistent headshots with proj, 2 reasons: very slow bullet speed + natural engine delay causes a great amount of latency between you clicking and the bullet reaching your target and mb2 having very erratic movement design, as in people change direction very easily with almost no slow down and acceleration time like you have in some other FPS games (counter strike is a great example of that). In mb2 forcing single-shot bolt action guns to go for headshots lowers the skill cap rather than increasing it. Bottom line, nerfed proj rifle is too weak for the skill cap it has.
 
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I've never seen anyone who can score consistent headshots with proj, 2 reasons: very slow bullet speed + natural engine delay causes a great amount of latency between you clicking and the bullet reaching your target and mb2 having very erratic movement design, as in people change direction very easily with almost no slow down and acceleration time like you have in some other FPS games (counter strike is a great example of that).
this shit right here is why it's fucking impossible to track on jedi when they just brainlessly spam strafe keys in your face

i don't give a shit about the travel time, i do give a shit about the game trying to give me cock and ball torture by delaying my shots by half a second and turning leads that were perfectly fine into shit ones
 
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