Cleb - January 26, 2018
In last weeks blog post we mentioned planned balance changes. We thought we would go a little more into depth on some of our ideas for balance changes this week. Bear in mind that anything written in this blog post is subject to change and is just our current thoughts on how to best balance CURE.
The end goal for many of these balance tweaks is to slow the game down a bit, especially in the beginning of the game. Basically right now it’s too easy to get hordes of units. This is not only bad for the game because it starts to trivialize many of the game mechanics and can boil combat down to smashing hordes of units together, but it also comes with a significant performance cost. We are not saying that we do not want to see large horde battles, however we want them to be more difficult to come by. So one of the major changes we want to make is to change how quickly units acquire resources. An additional benefit with slowing down how quickly units absorb resources, is it requires the player to keep their units tethered to a location for longer. To compound this change, we want to make large resource fields more rare, however make them have more resources than they currently do. Our hope is players will find these resource pockets and stay and fight over them. Players will still be able to find resources floating around the level as well as smaller resource pockets. Players could decide not to engage the enemy and fight over precious resources, but there is danger in letting your opponent eat uncontrollably. We hope this will lead to more early game skirmishes, and give more units a moment to shine.
One concern this may raise is that players who don’t find these resource pockets, will be at a terrible disadvantage. This has made us reconsider revealing all large resource pockets on the mini map, this would allow players to decide if they want to go straight for the large resource pockets, or play more sneaky and explore. This would also give players known locations to try and scout for enemy units, which will again hopefully lead to more early game engagements.
We also need to tweak the cost algorithms for units. Its difficult because we want players to be able to change and upgrade their units and therefore the costs of these units. However one of the issues we are seeing now is cheap units can be made to be very cheap to the point where you can make hundreds of these units very easily with very few genes added to your units. This would be great from a biology standpoint, however it’s difficult for the computer to handle so many units at once especially when we are talking 500 units and above for one player. Most RTS games have a unit counter that caps how many units you are allowed to make. This is not something we want to introduce into CURE if we can get away with it. So we will need to do a better job standardising unit costs. We think however this is achievable, because much of the heavy lifting will already be done by changing how quickly units can absorb resources, as smaller units tend to be much cheaper, but also gather resources much slower. This means if we reduce the speed overall that units absorb resources then making a massive army of tiny bacteria will be much more balanced than it currently is with just a few small tweaks.
We are also planning on tweaking the immune systems. As many of you may have noticed white blood cells can act strange sometimes. The can stretch way out which causes their ‘hit tests’ (locations on the white blood cells which kill units when touched) to become difficult to anticipate. We are aware of this issue and are working to solve it. In addition working on the the Macrophages we also want to work on the immune system as a whole. Right now the immune system can be very unpredictable, which again from a biological standpoint is fine, but its hard to tell when you are actually influencing the immune systems behavior. We are planning on working on more user feedback as well as a more streamlined approach to the immune system so it can be a little more predictable.
These are just some of the things we are working on. Player feedback is really helpful, so if you are in the closed alpha and have any opinions on how CURE should be played please feel free to stop by our subreddit and let us know what you think.