BattleCruisers Ruining MP yet again

When HW2 came out, I built a new computer fresh from scratch. I was a serious vet of HW1 (case ladder, clan matches and all) and couldn’t wait to play.

Then I jumped into MP and saw the horrid balance that is the Battlecruiser.

Relic obviously learned in later games they created never to make the Battlecruiser mistake again. This unit became a single-path unit. While there are ways to counter 1 BC, with early rushes or bomber hits, the right answer is almost always to have a BC of your own to negate the threat, then continue with your mixed units down the line.

Every game of HW2 almost always ended with BC matches, and EVERY SINGLE GAME I’m playing in the new HWR is the same way. It’s always BCs.

In HW1, there was NO single strategy that won everything. Sometimes you had people that would literally swarm all the way to end-game and win. Some guys were cap-ship masters (this was my personal style). Others were mixed fleets, or used crazy tactics like grav wells or cloaks to trump end-game.

A single Battlecruiser can take the next tier cap ship unit down (destroyer) in 2 shots of it’s ion beams. 2 shots! If you were to compare a HC vs Destroyer in HW1, this wouldn’t even be close to the case. This isn’t even taking into account the BCs ability to fire at extreme ranges, damage fighters/covs (heavy cruisers could do absolutely nothing to fighters, you could take one down with 20 scouts if you waited long enough!), the ability to project a grav well field, and so much more.

The BCs in HW2 were absolutely broken, screwed over balance, and, in my opinion, ruined the game. There’s a reason Relic didn’t replicate their base design idea in future RTS games they created. It’s doing the EXACT same thing in HWR, and I’m 100% sure if Gearbox looked at the stats of games played, BCs are the ultimate game changers in HWR just as they were in HW2.

I really hope they find a way to resolve this problem. Until then, I fear I’m going to start playing HW1-race only matches. I’m just not having ANY fun with HW2 BC-fests in HWR at all, and it’s making me want to quit even trying to enjoy this game.

6 Likes

Swarms of bombers picking them apart doesn’t work for you? Usually in skirmish with the AI I have a cloud of strike craft (With a healthy bomber contingent) around to amputate the BC and peck it to death with laser corvettes, bombers, and fighters (with a couple of lancers in there too). If a counter ever showed up, divert one of the three to deal with it while the other two continue pummeling it to death.

Start with the engines if there aren’t any capital ships around, else go for the ion in the hemisphere closest to your engaged ships.

Anti-human tactics may be different, but my strike craft swarms always performed well. As Vaygr.

I rebalanced BCs heavily in here:

You could always get who you want to play with using it, and maybe GBX will take notice of a lot of those changes. I realize the tech changes are controversial, but I rather stick by them.

I know how you feel, I did the same thing by the time, I got a new video card, bought hw2 played and went back to hw1, but why since hw2 has way better graphics, and awesome soundtrack , simple balance sucks!
Now they are using the same balance model, and the forum is already full of messages saying frigates sucks, destroyers and bcs are too powerful, and it is true.
And everytime someone comes and say, you can avoid a bc being built or you can cripple it, man I know I can, and if you are 1v1 me I can guarantee that you will NEVER build a bc , I will rush you no matter how big the map is, now just because of that doesn’t mean that the freaking thing is anyway less op, also in a team game if you don’t have a combined strategy to rush with your allies, you won’t be able to pull it off alone, I know by self experience, which leaves you with only one option, you have to build one yourself, really, it sucks not to be able to choose my own ships
Same though goed to frigates, you say frigates are made of paper, someone says, they can be useful, dude wtf, just cuz you can pull out a specific rush strategy with frigates doesn’t make them balanced ok?
Let’s also point another thing out, you never ever will see someone say oh hw1 balance was bad, nope won’t happen, that game allowed to you pull out so many combat strategies, you never knew what to expect, now we see a lot of people say hw2 balance is bad.
And if half of the players says it is op and another half says it can be stopped(who is talking about stop?), and absolutely nobody says it is underpowered, it pretty much means that the thing is really op.
I’m holding off my balance thoughs to see the gameplay fixes first, but one thing for sure destroyers and bc (I like to call bs, but cruisers in general) need a heavy dps nerf, balance it out in something else, like reduce the research and production cost, but don’t make thing that op, also capital ships in general need a dps nerf.
That rock-paper-IMAH FIRIN MY LAZOR balance system is just bad and non rewarding.

2 Likes

I really wish it weren’t true, but you guys are right. I’ve played a million games, and every time I win it tends to be because I built a BC faster than my opponent. Bombers are god awful for HW1 races. I built 70 of them and lost 30+ to a lone higarian BC. I actually lost resources killing the thing with BOMBERS… the one ship it’s supposed to be weak against. :confused:

I agree about the battlecruiser issue, the game is a race to the top and there are no real parallel routes once you clear the early game.

I think two things need to happen, first frigates need an armour buff across the board, all races. Second the exponential increase in damage output from the super capitals needs to be toned down. Third, the cost of researching and building these monsters needs to be increased.

It would be nice to see a game where frigates can be the mainstay of your fleet for much of the mid game. That would let fighters and corvettes play a more important role as well. At the moment it seems like you can just plow right past most of the frigate tech and go straight for destroyers as the primary damage dealer. I play Kushan and I tend to only bother with assault and drone frigates, the former for early harassment and the latter for anti-strikecraft cover.

3 Likes

Only subsystems are weak vs bombers, not BCs themselves.

I still don’t think 1 BC should be able to wipe out entire fleets of bombers before going down.

I know that the priority is fix bugs and gameplay, and totally agree, but would be good to already start to think about this internally.

@joekgbx

1 Like

There is something that I’ve noted earlier in HW2 and I’m noting right now in HWRE:

  • Sometimes the BCs are fast or agile in its behavior, like maneuvering and firing and sometimes it has some letargy, just staying there not knowing what to do, despite the orders.

Anyone else has experienced that? Am I doing something wrong? Don’t speculate on Asteroids (well, maybe other large vessels around like the MS or the SY).

yeah HW1 bombers are incredibly weak and so slow that half of them die on approach.

Eh. It only took me like 20 hours to figure out how to mod Homeworld and rebalance it to saner numbers. Even if bugs and other issues are the priority, it shouldn’t have been so hard to make HWRM multiplayer less bad.

what? no ramming frigates? :disappointed_relieved:

This is fantastic feedback, everyone. Thanks and I’ll pass this along to the team!

2 Likes

Please do not nerf battlecruiser. This game takes a long time to master, and right now most games are being played with the players being vastly different in their skill levels. I can personally testify that after TWO years of playing HW2, our group was still finding different strategies and builds that were possible in the classic HW2. Many players left after just scratching a surface, some players left after getting decent, but very few stayed and really got to know the game.

Battlecruisers are meant to be game-enders. Vast majority of skilled games on bigger maps get decided by BC micro. Win the BC battle, and you have won the game. Take this away - and the games will drag on forever. We’ve had many skilled games that lasted more than an hour - with spectacular BC battles. Without BCs, games will go on for 2-3 hours, and this can lead to people leaving because “sorry I got to go, something came up”.

If you guys are getting beat by BC rushes - learn to rush one yourself. BC rushes must be supported by anti-strike force and smart base defense - without that they fail to proper counters. Get into skilled games. Scout the opponent, pay attention to the build, then try it yourself. Players from our group will have no problems whatsoever explaining what happened and provide pointers.

Devs, balance Vaygr and Hiigaran against each other (they were 95% there in classic HW2), then bring HW1 races up to par. It certainly doesn’t look like balancing HW1 against HW2 is an easy task, as the games are much too different. However, avoid making too many quick decisions so early after release - it takes a good amount of time to get this game figured out.

4 Likes

“Battlecruisers are meant to be game-enders. Vast majority of skilled games on bigger maps get decided by BC micro. Win the BC battle, and you have won the game. Take this away - and the games will drag on forever. We’ve had many skilled games that lasted more than an hour - with spectacular BC battles. Without BCs, games will go on for 2-3 hours, and this can lead to people leaving because “sorry I got to go, something came up”.”

You just made my point. In HW1, there was a HUGE diversity of "game-enders’ that kept the strategy deep across all layers of the game. If you look at other masterful RTS games (Company of Heroes, Starcraft, Dawn of War, Supreme Commander), there are NO single game-ender strategies, even at the highest level of gameplay. There were always multiple avenues, and never a single top of the pyramid that dominated all strategies.

HW2’s gameplay revolves around BCs, that is almost impossible to deny. You can feel this balance paradigm as you ramp up in skill level playing the game. A truly elegant, excellently balanced game has many different balance points, and revolves around a number of different choice loops. I’m 100% confident Relic recognized this flaw in HW2, and truly showed this lesson learned in future games. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that Gearbox notices Relic’s growth patterns, learns from them, and unravels the mistakes of the BC from HW2.

A great example - compare multiple (and I mean 100+) games of HW1 at the mid->high skill range, and the unit make-up of the different teams to multiple (100+) games of HW2 at the same skill level. I promise you, in HW2 it will almost universally be about BCs, and in HW1, it’ll be all over the map.

7 Likes

I couldn’t agree more.

I would also point out that the solution isn’t to increase BC cost or construction time - its health and especially its firepower need to be reduced to the point where the stats leap from destroyer to BC isn’t so damn exponential.

2 Likes

Justify that you need an overpowered ship to end the game makes absolute no sense. If that were true then hw1 would be a endless game, and it wasn’t. The time to kill were even bigger, the firepower were much smaller in hw1 and games were even shorter.

You just said what we are saying, the only good counter against a cruiser is a cruiser. And a strategy game that relies on in a single strategy is unbalanced.

To end the game your fleet need to overcome the enemy fleet, and that is all. Games would take forever without a gravity generator to avoid endless escaping, and not with an unbalanced unit, that shreds fleets. I were aware that some people would be against nerfing it, as you said, they mastered the bc rush, now that’s the only thing that they do and they don’t wanna do anything else

3 Likes

Exactly, i totally agree. Its fine that the strat is there but i would love to see more strats to counter the BC because at the moment its very hard to kill hard points or even the thing itself without a BC.

I want more end game strats!!

I would like to see that the BC is tanky and powerfull but if it does not have any escort it can lose its hardpoints fast and die.

Why not a cost increase? It’s the fastest way to balance a ship with no compromises on its current abilities: if the battlecruiser is really that much better than a destroyer make it pricier than just 2x, try 3x or even 4x as much, maybe with a little longer build time.
Do that and you’ll see less people rushing capitals, less battlecruisers overall in the end game and building one would be like a prize on top of an already good match.
Plus it would almost balance out with the HW1 heavy cruisers considering a fully ugraded battlecruiser has close to twice the healt and is more versatile (modules, hangar).

1 Like