HW1:RM Campaign R.U value changes

It would appear that the campaigns original R.U balancing has been soundly kicked into touch in favour of a more global effort which I’m guessing we’ve all noticed by now.

Whilst related to the overall multiplayer balance issue’s I’m interested in the knock on effect redefining the R.U values has had to the new version of the HW1 campaign.

Looking at the percentage increases across the board you can see some major changes in the relative costing’s within the campaign and classic multiplayer compared to the originals 16 year old balance.

          Ship type       old R.U           new R.U    percentage increase

           Defender          65               120              85%
              Scout          35                90             157%   
        Interceptor          55               100              82%
    Cloaked Fighter          85               130              53%
      Attack bomber          85               120              41%

     Light corvette         135               250              85%
     Heavy corvette         240               270              13%
    Repair corvette         150               250              67%
   salvage corvette         220               250              14%
 minelayer corvette         275               340              24%  
 multi-gun corvette         225               300              33%

 Resource collector         650               600              -8%
Resource controller         680               900              32%

    Assault frigate         575               800              39%
    Support frigate         425               800              88%
      Drone frigate         800               900              13%
 Ion cannon frigate         650               900              38%

          Destroyer        1350              1800              33%
  Missile destroyer        1500              2000              33%
      Heavy cruiser        3700              3600              -3%
            Carrier        2000              3000              50%

              Probe          30                50              66%
   Proximity sensor          50               100             100%
       Sensor array         800               700             -13%
      Research ship         700               750               7%
Grav well generator         800               800               0%
    Cloak Generator         500               800              60%

Frankly the adjustments are all over the place and there’s a few in that list that caused me to do a double take, if I’m honest :frowning:

Currently the Multiplayer is going to be balanced with a Mod so in theory we should not see any more changes to these values for the campaign once its released. But neither will it address any of the head scratchers seen here either.

For instance what effect does it have on the game for the first combat strikecraft available to have had such a hefty cost increase compared to all the other fighters ?
Has it changed overall force composition ?

Bearing in mind relative R.U values are only ONE of the ways balance if created within this game, if taken with the other changes we now have to deal with.Have these changes been detrimental to the Campaign ? do they need fixing ?
Or perhaps you feel there a long awaited rebalancing of an old floored system. ? :slight_smile:

Two caveats,

1,Any factual mistakes you spot are down to me being a bit of an idiot rather than some cunning plan on my part :slight_smile:

2, having given up for the moment on the current campaign, I’m not in the best position to comment on any in game effects these relative value changes are having on the last 8 or so missions.

So… Thoughts ?

They probably did a rough-ish balancing according to existing HW2 values for similar/related craft based on limited internal playtesting. I’m guessing changes here will be part of the balance change mod. As an example, something that was mentioned was that they want to aim to make HW1 frigates more ‘line ships’ rather than disposable damage sponges like it is currently. We’ll probably see an increase in RU costs to go along with it. Similar changes will probably pop up when other ships are buffed/nerfed.

Basically I wouldn’t read to much into it.

1 Like

I’d like to hope your right, but if I’m honest I don’t hold out much hope that that will happen. The problem as I see it is that next balance mod is centred around improving the balance for a four race multiplayer game.

So whilst some of the changes may re-centre the balance of the original campaign it would be purely accidental as its not really the mods intended goal. Add to that it could quite easily throw in more imbalance rather than less for the very same reason.
Its nice that its being done as a mod rather than a patch so were not tied to it if the tweaking pushes things a little too much the wrong way. But I hope the campaign balance isn’t completely forgotten about over the coming months.

Think of this, in the old campaign, the cost of one Heavy cruiser would buy you 105 scouts, In the new campaign the same cruiser would get you only 40.

whilst that’s a particularly bad one, its by no means the only one that’s there to see.

So as far as I can tell there is at least 4 streams going (bu no means is that all but it’s the four I can see apart from the whole modding thing in general)

There is the balance patch that they are iterating via a mod. This will not, or will not necessarily, effect the campaigns at all. This would be stuff like improving HW1 frigates, strike craft balance (not squadron related) and other cost/stat changes specifically aimed at balancing HWR multiplayer. Some of it may at some point bleed over to the campaigns but currently both campaigns are balanced in the sense that you can complete them. No compelling reason to screw with that at the moment. Also no compelling reason to try and shoehorn HW1 balancing into HW2. Different engine and HW1 only brings one race to the table, HW2 brings 2. Their first step (before launch) was to get the HW1 race somewhat close to the HW2 races and then balance all three from there.

There is the squadron/formation stuff that falls under the mechanics/engine changes that will most likely effect the campaign and will have a lot of support from the balance changes. Most likely these two will work closely to make sure that the new squadron mechanic is balanced. These changes, because it effects the campaigns, will take more time to test and implement.

Then there is the other smaller but-no-less-important engine changes/projects like the support frigate hyperspacing general buggy-ness and the heal beam/weapon and other mechanic related things that will effect singleplayer and multiplayer. Again, careful testing and support from balance changes are going to be important.

And of course lastly there is just general bug fixes that they have already had a few passes on and will probably see more as time goes by. Stuff like the Hyperspace bug, maybe any model issues, crashes, etc.

So really there is none of this pensive ‘oh i hope this and that but I’m subtly letting everyone know I doubt they are doing anything but twiddling their thumbs’ thing a lot of people are keen on doing. It’s transparent and I can only imagine what a slap in the face it is to devs when I can clear as day see what they have done and how much they are doing right now. There is no hope, there is only what they have delivered, the progress reports and their interaction with us. So far all of those things have been amazing. Reward this kind of behavior, we want more of it from devs in every game everywhere. It is sorely lacking in other projects.

You need to go back and re-read my original post,

To recap. I started by listing the changes in relative R.U valves within the campaign and asked the question

To which you responded that things will likely change with the coming balance mod so don’t read to much into these numbers.

To which I responded that the Multiplayer Mod probably wouldn’t intentionally rebalance the single player campaign as it was being worked around a Four race setup and I also hoped that the internal balance of the single player campaign is not completely forgotten about in the future.

To which you’ve gone on to list the thing we both know are happening, Non of which include single player R.U balance.

and finished with the good old “Stop saying mean things, your making the dev’s cry:cry: ploy

touché sir Knight. but why not take a stab at the original question and give an opinion on whether the changes to the R.U values are good, bad or perhaps indifferent to the single player campaign. As that was the question I originally asked and you so far have chosen not to answer.

How can you expect the developers to decide on what changes if any to make without your feedback ?

I’ll take a stab at it: SP campaign RU changes. Good or Bad?

The RU changes are very drastic compared to the original values and they are not across the board linear. It’s confusing at first.

The RU changes are not detrimental to the campaign. They actually enhance it by not allowing the player to completely go bananas and max out his fleet right out of the gate. Scouts are important and the increase doesn’t hurt them but helps because they seem to be rather potent. Light corvette increase helps to focus more on Heavy Corvettes. Before, Lights were so cheap and effective that it wasn’t necessary to build heavys. The overall changes seem to be a good thing.

There are still issues that need fixing before any RU changes can be determined good or bad.

1 ) Mid to end game still sees strike craft going the way of the Dodo. After mission 9 to end game strike craft are not required or wanted. Gravwell pretty much rules the latter game. HW1 they were non reusable. When they reached the end of their cycle they exploded. This balanced them against strike craft much better. Any RU changes can’t adequately fix this, so the changes here are moot.

2 ) Cloaked fighters infinite cloak coupled with fuel burn made them very viable. Now they can’t hide from anything in the campaign for unknown reasons. Their very short cloak time is a big build deterrent. RU changes can’t fix this, so an increase here is the wrong direction, however they are not a good investment either way.

3 ) Drone frigates are not a viable strike craft counter. You can’t build them until you reach level 6. They don’t perform well in level 7 and 8, you don’t need them in level 9 and up. They’re not worth using at any cost. An RU increase here is moot.

1 Like

Hmm…Interesting thoughts…I’ve always considered the scout the mainstay of early game fleet composition. Its the vessel your first presented with and whilst generally poor in individual attack potential, its role as a stalling unit in the hands of a canny player was second to none.
I would say its major cost increase seriously lessens the use in any strength beyond its role as mobile sensor platform and even this role is diminished once the sensor array (which got a hefty price cut) becomes available to the player.

Concerning light and heavy corvettes I played it the exact opposite to you as both became accessible quite close together in terms of game time. Once the heavy version was unlocked I never touched the light as a heavy corvette seemed to be a better investment of R.U’s in terms of attack and durability even before you consider the overall unit cap. decreasing its relative cost to my eye seems to seal any chances the light corvette has of seeing game time at all.

The Drone and equivalent defence field frigate I felt were originally overpriced in part for the reason you pointed out which is interesting when you see that there costs have now decreased when compared to other Frigates, but yeah…agree with you assessment here.

I sort of agree with you concerning the cloaked fighter, it was a late game entry (mission 13 I think?) but it did have an Achilles heal back then that has been removed in this remastering…Fuel which if I recall (not 100% on this) it burnt through at a faster rate than any other fighter. So I’m guessing that’s why the cloak ability now is timed.

The Grav well is a thorny one, though its had a sizable price cut and improved immeasurably and somewhat contentiously. Till we see if its reigned in through the next mod/patch its going to be hard to quantify what an appropriate R.U value would be so best to stick a pin in that one for later.

The Gravity for want of a word, that the HW2’s bigger guns have had on the cost of destroyers and especially the Heavy cruiser could I think do with a looking at. Previously a heavy cruiser would set you back 3700 Ru’s and take about 7 minutes to build or for the same cost you could knock out 5 and a half ion frigates in about the same number of minutes (5 and a half) now toe to toe that not too one sided of a match up especially if you were to swap that half an ion frigate for a support frigate instead. But now your Heavy cruiser (3600) only gets you 4 ion frigates dead (no pun intended) with no support to boot and that a pretty one sided fight in the new remastering.

The sum of which seem to be the new weighting of the game away from the middle ground (the frigates) to more a conflict of the cheaper, big guns of your fleet.

Its worth stating the effect the experience level of the player probably makes more of a difference to over all fleet composition than simple R.U costs. but even subtle changes here can have some noticeable effects so my view on the current set of values is best described as mixed :confused:

There probably more to be said about support frigates and resource operations and a couple of other outliers but that’s probably enough words for the moment :slight_smile:

First off: Formations are not working. This is not going to stay this way very long. There are changes in the pipeline that will address this issue. This has a direct bearing on RU cost of strike craft, so we’ll pretend this is not an issue.

Scouts are mainstay. Never go without a few. The RU increase made no difference since I only have a few on hand at all times. I still use them as before.

Heavy corvettes were off limits before the cost increase. I found that I could build many more light corvettes and cover more ground quicker. Even multiguns were not getting the attention they deserved. I have a peeve here. In HW1 light was fragile. Heavy was tough. Multigun was in between. Light was fast. Heavy was slow. Multigun was fastest (considered an upgrade and not another ship slot). Repeat: Multiguns were an ‘upgrade’ and not just another ship slot (think HW2 upgrades). HW1, by the end of level 7 you were ready to replace all your corvettes with multiguns. RU levels here seem to benefit the slot however the speed, armor, and weapon stats do not agree. They need to be balanced the way they were intended to be used.

Cloaked fighters. I’m not sure what’s up with these little guys but they are not capable of hiding from the enemy in campaign when cloaked. HW1 saw them used very frequently in the end game. Spies were welcome. Even if it was low on fuel it could still sit patiently and spy on the enemy indefinitely. I considered it to be an upgrade for the scout/probe. Repeat: The cloaked fighter is an ‘upgrade’ to the scout and not just another ship slot (think HW2 upgrades).

Gravwells need to explode at the end of their life (no recharge). They’re too much of a game changer as is. RU boost or range nerf does not address the issues.

Drone frigate are an alternative to corvettes. Slower but more staying power. Unaffected by gravwells they can rule the end game against fighters if deployed strategically. They need a serious boost in weapon strength to enable them to be competitors. RU nerf isn’t enough to outweigh their shortcomings.

Repair corvettes are still viable and I use them often. They start to heal ships even before they actually latch on, which makes them valuable. An RU increase is warranted however I don’t think everyone realizes their worth.

I don’t have much issue with frigates or capitals. They seem to be lined out rather well with the latest patch. Exception is the ASF. By having to latch onto its target it’s not as effective as it was in HW1. This would suggest a RU nerf and not a boost however, It could be made to respond adequately if it would also begin to heal before latching on, as the repair corvette does.

Over all the campaign needs to have less RU available and not rely on boosted ship cost. The stats (HW1 damage, weapon, speed) were fine with a few exceptions. There’s just too many RU available. There’s no struggle. If I’m low on RU (which I never am) all I need do is retire some of the ships I captured (unit cap on salcaps doesn’t play the same. Instead of capping them try changing attack priorities…

1 Like

The light corvette rules the first 5 missions of HWR till you get multi-guns. Then you replace all lights with half heavy half multi-guns. Also having 70 defenders is both hilarious and effective.

Currently the campaign works. A few have complained it’s too hard but that’s normal for any game. You will always have those that are less skilled at RTS games. The vets have mostly all complained it’s too easy, again too be expected but it’s not like the classic is ‘hard’ by any measure to begin with. The only RU changes that should be made to the campaign is in response to Mechanic/engine changes. This will reduce unnecessary workload on the devs that honestly should not be spending time on fixing something that isn’t broken (some HW1 vets opinions aside). Focus should be on the MP(obviously including formation/squadron/etc. that will effect SP before someone jumps down my throat) and any changes in SP should be adjusting for any imbalances caused by engine/mechanic changes. Nothing is gained by making RU changes to SP at this juncture and a lot of time is lost.

1 Like

[quote=“ForceUser, post:9, topic:258108”]
Nothing is gained by making RU changes to SP at this juncture and a lot of time is lost.[/quote]

That’s about where I stand on the issue. Until formations are addressed and a few more things fixed, the RU tweak didn’t really go a long way to ‘globally’ fixing anything because nothing was really broken with it. However, I do think reducing resources in missions would seriously help the campaign. Of course that makes the game harder but when you can amass over 600 ships, and that’s with no fighters or corvettes except salcaps, the game is both too easy ‘and’ unbeatable at the same time because of scaling. No, there are bigger fish to fry than a ship cost RU change.

I don’t disagree with either of these statements. In fact I’ve made a point of not suggesting any changes at the moment, more just raising the idea that "balance " is a layered affair with lots of interacting forces. whilst R.U’s are decidedly less glamorous than ship spec’s or formation behaviour they still play a role in shaping the direction and tone of a players gaming experience.

Individual unit changes to one side there has, as you pointed out been a large upswing in the volume of total R.U’s available per level and also an increase in the amount of R.U’s from 60% to 80% that you can recoup from retiring either your own or the enemies captured vessels. Both of these changes will affect the way a player views his own forces subtly moving them from assets to be protected for the long haul to a more replaceable commodity. Which whilst a valid game view does somewhat run at odds with the whole “Last of your race” story arc that many have found so engaging over the years.

The classic game could often trip up a profligate player who won all battles at the cost of his forces only to loose the war for want of Resources in the final stages of conflict. That’s something that I feel is now missing from the remastering.

To answer a few of your points directly.

I’m surprised the Heavy cruiser is not causing you to raise an eyebrow just a little when it comes to looking at the big guns.

Looking across all the numbers the Average change coming in around 44% with the median at 38% which when you look at the destroyer and missile destroyer is sort of in the right ball park at 33% each. Perhaps a little low if you consider there now more affective at killing stuff, but not a million miles off that median.

However that Heavy cruiser at -3% is a real outlier, the toughest ship in the fleet has improved its killing potential with the transfer to HWR and been slashed in price to boot. Its old cost was 3700, its new price is 3600 if it followed the median increase it would have stood at 5106 and its cost at the average increase would have been 5328 Does this not seem an excessive discount within the campaigns cost framework ?

(note: I’m not suggesting the cruiser should now have either of those two adjusted costs merely emphasising the chasm that’s opened up with the relative price of this unit)

Playstyle differences here I guess… the fact a heavy corvette could survive a strike from a ion frigate meant for me whilst they were slower to build and slower to move. I just didn’t need to replace them at anything like the rate of attrition I found I suffered with its lighter cousin. Combine a wall of them with healing support and they were a mighty force indeed.

On the whole its the, defender, scout, interceptor and light corvette that are the worst offenders when it comes to price creep and I feel the talk about the upcoming formation changes are a bit of a red herring with relation to costing.

Whilst the way these smaller units fly and fight together has turned out a little Wonky. Gearbox actually thought they had it nailed before release So the prices we see are what they intended fully functioning formations to cost. which apparently is around 40% above the average increase or 110% if your a scout for some reason :confused:

Currently these increases are masked by the overall abundance in available R.U’s within the campaign. Toning this down as you suggest might ultimately be a good thing, but would most likely highlight the changes to those fighters even more. As players would be much more likely to pick and choose there fleet composition based on what they have to spend rather than what they want to build .

[quote=“jim1, post:11, topic:258108”]
the toughest ship in the fleet has improved its killing potential with the transfer to HWR and been slashed in price to boot[/quote]
This is a decision that is wrong but it does put the HC up where the HW2 HC is. Backwards thinking. Multiplayer thinking.

[quote=“jim1, post:11, topic:258108”]
the fact a heavy corvette could survive a strike from a ion frigate meant for me whilst they were slower to build and slower to move[/quote]
What I meant is that by increasing the cost of a light corvette you made heavy corvettes more appealing. That being said, it does not tune the game in the way it should be tuned. It’s only a quick fix for multiplayer and not a good balance solution. I noticed that the light corvette was the fastest corvette, the heavy was the middle, the multigun was the slowest. This is all wrong.

The original game, In order from slowest to fastest: Heavy, Light, MultiGun.
The original game, in order from weakest to strongest: Light, Heavy, MultiGun.
The original game, in order from least armor to most armor: Light, MultiGun, Heavy.

The trend I see with the original game is that the MultiGun is an upgrade to both Light and Heavy. It had more speed so it didn’t need as much armor as the heavy. It was designed to replace both.

The new game sees the MultiGun as a different variety and not an upgrade. It’s the slowest and most potent. So we see 3 types of ships which purposes are blurred.

The ‘end game’ sees the old HW1 going out and a new HW1 hybrid taking its place with the driving force being the combined multiplayer. I can see why it would look like a good decision to combine these two games… In the end it doesn’t matter what we think. We don’t sit on the board.

So, we can talk about balance and RU effects on game but it just doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference anymore. The wind is dying and there’s not much pushing the boat. Disillusioned? Yes…

1 Like

The ‘end game’ sees the old HW1 going out and a new HW1 hybrid taking its place with the driving force being the combined multiplayer. I can see why it would look like a good decision to combine these two games… In the end it doesn’t matter what we think. We don’t sit on the board.

This conjured up a vision of some shady, dark and smoke filled board room somewhere where a cabal of faceless board members, cigars in their hands, decided that as part of their diabolical plan they will not make Multi-gun corvettes better than both heavy and ligh vettes but rather make each one useful in their own way.



Ahhh. No big deal. It’s only a game. We all do tend to get carried away with our opinions.