An overview of the current perceived game balance

A brief look at the GPGnet forums yields a wide variety of inevitable claims of ways in which Supreme Commander 2 is imbalanced. Here’s a look at these claims, and a brief analysis of each one. Of course, I’d like to hear your opinions as well in the comments below — especially if I missed anything.

  • Gunships are too powerful — Probably the number one complaint at the moment. Gunships completely outclass bombers; not only do they do more damage because they don’t have to loop around, but they can also attack other gunships (which bombers cannot do). It takes an equivalent mass in anti-air weapons to destroy gunships, which is a huge point in the gunships’ favor, because gunships are more mobile and useful for attack, not just defense.
  • Mass converters are too powerful — Yeah, that’s me saying that, and I’m pretty convinced it’s true. This applies mostly to the Cybran, who have really cheap access to mass conversion (only 12 RP needed), and don’t even need separate buildings to do it. The Cybran can reach an exponential economic ramp-up really quickly. The Illuminate have access to cheap mass conversion as well, but need to build separate buildings, and the UEF have that problem as well as needing 19 RP to reach mass conversion.
  • The Illuminate are underpowered — This is one that pretty much everyone is saying, and the truth of it is borne out by the relative paucity of Illuminate opponents in multiplayer. UEF and Cybran each have advantages in different areas, while the Illuminate don’t particularly excel in anything game-winning.
  • The Cybranosaurus Rex is useless — I can’t argue with this one. For its mass, it’s very ineffective. There are many other experimentals that are deficient as well, but the Cybranosaurus Rex is an especially tough pill to swallow, because the two other factions’ flagship experimentals, the UEF’s King Kriptor and the Illuminate’s Colossus, are all actually decent.
  • ACU rushing is very powerful — No kidding! I just attacked with a fully upgraded ACU in a skirmish game (I hadn’t yet gone that route before), and the Overcharge destruction was truly a sight to behold. But the early game ACU rush, when carried out by multiple teammates in a multiplayer game, is more mismatched still. The ACUs aren’t as powerful in the early game, but the opponents really do not have any defense to speak of, and teamed-up ACUs in an early assault are deadly. There’s also a slight variation involving Cybran ACUs upgraded with the tactical missile launcher.
  • Rock Heads are too powerful when fully upgraded (sorry, no specific link, but I’ve seen this in a lot of places) — Unit for unit, Rock Head Tanks are the most powerful land combatant in the game, beating anything on a mass-for-mass basis, including all experimentals.
  • UEF has the best artillery in the game by far — Not only do they get the medium-range artillery, which is very powerful and which no one else has, but they also get the Disruptor artillery, which is better than the non-experimental long-range artillery.

Now, before anyone starts a huge flame-war in the comments below over this, remember that the quality of multiplayer competition is still at a very low level, seeing as how new the game still is. It’s quite possible that a lot of these things are imbalanced at all; it may just be that we don’t know the effective counters yet. Who knows, a month from now we may look back on this post and laugh at how we thought X was overpowered when it turns out that Y was actually much better, we just weren’t using it correctly.

And yes, a lot of the points above may be nothing more than an artifact of how the three factions were designed to play differently than each other. If the overall balance did come out even despite the individual differences, that’d be one thing, but it currently looks like specific strategies (ACU rushing / gunships) and specific factions (UEF and Cybran) are dominant.

4 Responses to “An overview of the current perceived game balance”

  1. MeDDish Says:

    First Cybran player here, i find them best for how I PLAY, nothing else…..
    Rockhead tanks yes very good, but UEF doesnt get any sort of jumpjets or teleport tech, so if u encounter them jump around them :)
    UEF has the best arty, well what u think? they had the best in FA and SC1
    ACU rushing 2v1 has ALWAYS been powerfull, but then again, i did a 2v1 just the other day, and managed to take out 2 ACU’s with a small amount of help from my ally (game was supremacy so we died in the end)
    The Cybranosaurus Rex is useless – agreed… end of story
    The Illuminate – they arent underpowered, they just aint great @ anything, the UEF has allways been a turtle, the Cybran has allways had cheap EXP, the Illuminate are just a general all round race, and if their assault bots are the best in the game, and on a mass for mass basis i believe would take out rockhead tanks
    Mass converters – they are a risk to take, one that could pay off, if u can hold out long enough, but you do enter the fight with overwhelming numbers and underpowered units, and they get more RP based on Mass killed, if ur units arnt upgraded ur feeding them RP that only make their units stronger! – balance in the end!
    Gunships are too powerful – the same was said with SC1 and even though they where patched down, they became to underpowered, and now we are left with FA in its state where aeon AA gunships are to overpowered, just remember there is ONLY a limited amount of patches they will do, decide WHAT u want patched and WHEN, test test again and test once more before u ask for a patch!!
    (current problem isnt gunships its the aeon and Cybran air factories receive XP to fast

  2. BLITZ_Molloy Says:

    I’m only installing the game now so I don’t have any balance opinions yet, but it’s worth remembering how iffy the balance was in SupCom1 pretty much until FA came out.

    I think some of the problems are probably stemming from trying to make the game fast paced. Gas Powered Games are worked out from Demigod that people want 30minute games rather than 1hour plus games. I kind of agree with them. When I was a kid I could play 3 hour games of TA but nowadays I’m always getting interrupted.

    I’d like to see map control become a central mechanic though. SupCom1 didn’t have enough raiding, and there was too much turtling and resource farming.

    Hopefully the more commercial approach GPG has taken with this game (faster matches, lowish cpu demands) will help it sell well, resulting in patches and/or a standalone addon. More patches don’t necessarily = better balance however. TA had very few and it turned out fine. Ultimately it takes many months for balance to ‘settle’ and there’s a consensus about what’s wrong.. how to fix it always ends up being contentuous however.

  3. Ember of Hartmann Says:

    “Mass converters are too powerful — Yeah, that’s me saying that, and I’m pretty convinced it’s true. This applies mostly to the Cybran, who have really cheap access to mass conversion (only 12 RP needed), and don’t even need separate buildings to do it. The Cybran can reach an exponential economic ramp-up really quickly. The Illuminate have access to cheap mass conversion as well, but need to build separate buildings, and the UEF have that problem as well as needing 19 RP to reach mass conversion.”

    Yeah, but we cybran, we can’t improve the mass production.

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