The air factory experience bug

A bug has come to light regarding experience earned by air factories for creating units. Keep in mind that each level a factory gains decreases build time and build cost by 10%. Factories max out at level five. The way it’s supposed to work is that each successive level requires more units built to reach. However, Cybran and Illuminate (but not UEF) have bugged air factories that only require four units be built for gaining all but the first level (source). So what ends up happening is that Cybran and Illuminate factories very rapidly end up building units that cost half as much at twice the speed. No wonder people complain about gunships.

The scary thing is that UEF still remains highly competitive despite the fact that it does not have the same kind of access to really cheap, rapid-building air units. When GPG fixes this bug, they might have to address some balance issues simultaneously, otherwise they’ll only be making UEF even better.

And on a somewhat related note, does anyone else think it’s weird that the one of the benefits of experienced factories is lower construction costs? That doesn’t exactly make sense to me, because as the game progresses, mass gets a lot more abundant, and by the end, it is effectively free thanks to mass converters. I would think a proper benefit would be making the units not cheaper but stronger (perhaps through automatic veterancy, the same way barracks work in the Civilization series).

And that’s not even addressing the issue of the experimental factories, especially the Noah Cannon, which creates units at one-seventh the usual cost. Supreme Commander 2 thus has a geometric ramp-up in army sizes as each match progresses. In the beginning of the game, units are expensive and resources few; in the end-game, units are cheap and resources plentiful. Something seems off. Supreme Commander avoided this issue through its tech levels, so that as the game went on you spent vastly more per unit, but each unit was a lot more powerful.

6 Responses to “The air factory experience bug”

  1. Fingolfin Says:

    Excellent point/s. I really hope they fix the mass converter issues you’ve been discussing recently. I’m fairly sure they’ll sort the air factory bug though as they’ve released a few patches so far already.

    I also want them to:
    * put in an option so that the zoom doesn’t reset the camera angle;
    * fix the stupid wreckage passing thing where units kind of go half invisible and pass through the wrecks magically;
    * give more time to place units at the start so you don’t have to micro-fest the ACU + 2 Engies right off the bat;
    * make units appear clearer in the unit selection bar at the bottom;
    * put back the SupCom1 functionality with difference between right-clicking and left-clicking on the right-hand unit navigation bar for selection of units — so that one zooms+selects and the other just selects;
    * fix the mouse-cursor general buggyness (after say, setting patrol points);
    * make the keyboard shortcuts customisable;
    * and much more…

    :)

  2. Fingolfin Says:

    Otherwise, I actually prefer the game to SupCom1… :o

    No really!

  3. Cyde Weys Says:

    I have a couple responses to your points …

    How do I set the camera angle in the first place? I haven’t figured that one out. Also, I don’t like the grid overlay that appears when you zoom out far enough. It doesn’t really have a point. SupCom1 didn’t have it.

    And yes, I’m definitely annoyed by the patrol cursor bugginess. Not only does it not drop out of patrol mode when it should, but you also have to be really careful of where you’re clicking when attempting to set patrol points, because if you accidentally click on any node that is part of an existing move/patrol order, or if you accidentally click on a unit group, then it doesn’t do what you want it to.

  4. Fingolfin Says:

    OK I just got back from playing multiplayer and getting horribly wiped out in 2v2s by guys who were pre-planning the dual ACU rush you mentioned. Ugh… there’s really nothing I can work out to counter it yet, on a map like Isis for example. Although a quick tech-up to carriers and a base drop paid off nicely one time. “While the ACUs away, the mouse does play” so to speak… :)

    I think you’re right to stay it’s still early days, and yes certainly the evidence so far *seems* to indicate large faction imbalance which I can’t see changing any time soon, but let’s see. I hope they squash the outright bugs first, and quickly, then over the next few weeks the top players can begin to pick apart the various balance issues emerging.

    I do still find the game hella fun though.

  5. SnakeChomp Says:

    I think it is fine that unit count increases (+speed) and mass surplus also increases (-cost) in end game. Because the intention in end game is for you to be using experimentals which need a ton of mass to make. Of course all experimentals require the support of traditional units to be successful, so by making traditional units cheaper to make, you can afford to throw in experimentals at no additional relative cost. Conversely it allows you to fortify your defenses that much more to deal with the larger unit counts seen in end game. Seems fine on paper to me.

    p.s. Yes I am aware most experimentals are underwhelming.

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