Population Values.

Issues dealing with gameplay balance.
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Antandron
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Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 11:58 am

What does the population cost of various models represent? I assume that the value is intended to be proportional to the power of the individual model. Is that right?
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Nurland » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 10:48 pm

More or less so. What are you aiming at?
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Paranoid Kamikaze » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 11:56 pm

Also serves to limit the size of your army.
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Antandron
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 12:25 pm

I am just confirming assumptions so that everyone can agree that - in the current meta - if unit A is better than unit B then unit A has a larger population value aswell as a higher req and power cost. We can also agree, due to the above, that squad leaders should cost more than the regular squad members in nearly all cases. The exceptions are where the squad population is slightly higher than it should be and the squad leader cost is reduced slightly to compensate for this, and vice versa. Using this framework it should be easy to reveal which models are currently under or overpriced and which are about right. Think of it as a game of spot-the-odd-one-out.

Green indicates that I consider this model to be underpriced. Red indicates that I consider this model to be overpriced. Black font does not necessarily imply that I consider the price to be reasonable but could means that I do not have an opinion.

Infantry excluding set up teams:
1 point per model: Termagants, Hormagants, Spore Mines, Guardsmen, Tics.
2 points per model: Sluggas, Shootas, Rangers, Dire Avengers, ISTs, Genestealers, Catachans.
3 points per model: Scouts, Banshees, Fire Dragons, Dark Reapers, Stormboyz, Tankbustas, Kommandos, Spotters, Storm Troopers, Kasrkins.
4 points per model: Warp Spiders, Seer Council, Stickbommaz, Bloodletters, Raveners, Chosen Plague Marines.
5 points per model: Tacs, CSM, Strike Squad, ASM, Raptors, Warrior Brood, Flash Gitz, Nobz, Interceptors, Ogryns, Sternguard, Vanguard, Plague Marines, Wraithguard.
7 points per model: All Terminators.

Tacs, CSM and Strike Squad do not deserve to be in the same category as Nobz, Vanguard, Sternguard and Wraithguard. They could all go to 4 points leaving ASM and Raptors to be 5 points. Fire Dragons, Dark Reapers and Tankbustas are all about on a par with Tacs and CSM and therefore deserve to go to 4 points also. Rangers for 2 points is ridiculous when Vanilla scouts are 3 points.

Set-up Teams:
4 points: Devs, PDevs, Lootas, Havocs, Noise Marines, Purgation, IG HWT.
5 points: Venom Brood.
9 points: Shuriken Weapon Platform.
12 points: D-Cannon.

Transports, Walkers and Light Vehicles:
10 points: Razorback, Rhino, Wartrukk, Chimera, Bloodcrusher, Bane Wolf, Whirlwind.
12 points: Falcon, Tyrant Guard, Wraithlord, Deff Dread.
15 points: Manticore, SM Dread, Chaos Dread, GK Dread, Sentinel.

Tanks, Super Units:
15 points: Looted Tank, Fire Prism.
18 points: Predators, Leman Russ, Carnifex.
20 points: Land Raider Crusader, Battlewagon, Land Raider Phobos.
21 points: GUO, Avatar, Swarmlord, Land Raider Redeemer.
25 points: Baneblade

Squad Leaders:
tbc

Sub-Commanders and Miscellaneous:
5 points: Librarian, Autarch, Vindicare, Weirdboy, Painboy,
10 points: Zoanthrope, Neurothrope.
Last edited by Antandron on Thu 11 Jan, 2018 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Oddnerd
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Oddnerd » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 3:16 pm

A unit's pop cost is not strictly a product of their raw power/utility, the context of which faction they belong to and which tier they are available at also is important. Some races can get certain kinds of units for less resources or pop cost but other for higher cost... the overall internal balance of the race roster is what matters - not just lining each unit up on a chart of strength vs pop cost and seeing which appears to be the best.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Atlas » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 9:57 pm

An excellent post by Antandron. I think we can all agree that Eldar/Nids/IG is underpriced and SM/Chaos/OM is overpriced :P
Therefore we should nerf the "horde" races and buff the "power armor" races.

Anyway, as Oddnerd has indicated, population is just one way to adjust a unit's cost. On the purely economic front, don't forget squad cost, upkeep and reinforce costs! Also, the general fragility of a unit also becomes a factor. A Tac Marine may be 5 pop compared to a 2 pop Dire Avenger, but no one would really argue that the Tac should be 4 or 3 pop even if it is also a core unit in its respective roster. This is because of the general "strength" of the model ALONG with all of its other properties.

Still, it's something to think about. The Baneblade being considerably higher in pop than other supers is a little eye raising, for instance. Same with the Thropes, though I can understand somewhat on that.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Impregnable » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 4:43 am

Although we cannot completely base our balance on that population value, what Antandron did would be a nice thing to do every time we make pop value of some squads change in a patch. We will be able to use it as a reference when dealing with pop value aspect of the balance for it is indeed a factor too.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 11:09 am

My argument is that if "req+power" is proportional to "strength" then "population value" should also be proportional to "req+power", otherwise what is the purpose of population values? We can use the word “strength” for the ability of a unit to win games. If the above is correct, it is possible to compare the pop to the req + power cost and weigh power accordingly at, for example, 3 x req. I have ignored the cost of upgrades which is a weakness is my demonstration below, having little idea how to account for them. Another assumption is that 1 red = 1 req.

Tacs: 450r + 0p / 15 pop = 30 st/pop
CSM: 400r +0p / 15 pop = 26.7 st/pop
ASM: 450r + 3*50p / 15 pop = 40 st/pop
Scouts: 210r + 0p / 12 pop = 17.5 st/pop
Rangers: 210r + 3*20p / 6 pop = 45 st/pop
Fire Dragons: 360r + 3*40p / 12 pop = 40 st/pop
Termagaunts: 260r + 0p / 8 pop = 32.5 st/pop
Hormagants: 240r + 0p / 8 pop = 30 st/pop
Bloodletters: 400r + 3*40p / 16 pop = 32.5 st/pop
Tankbustas: 300r + 0p / 12 pop = 25 st/pop
Genestealers: 400r +3*45p / 12 pop = 44.6 st/pop
Sentinel: 300r + 0p / 15 pop = 20 st/pop
Ogryns: 425r + 90p /15 pop = 46 st/pop

Nobz: 500r + 100p / 20 pop = 40 st/pop
Assault Terminators: 650r + 100p + 350red / 21 pop = 62 st/pop
Seer Council: 550r + 100p / 20 pop = 42.5 st/pop
Chaos Terminators: 550r + 100p + 350red / 21 pop = 57 st/pop

Dreadnought: 450r + 120p / 15 pop = 61 st/pop
Wraithlord: 425r + 100p / 12 pop = 60 st/pop
Tyrant Guard: 400r + 60p / 12 pop = 48 st/pop

Baneblade: 700r + 180p / 25 pop = 50 st/pop
LRCrusader: 750r + 180p /20 pop = 64.5 st/pop
LRRedeemer: 700r + 180p / 20 pop = 62st/pop
LRPhobos: 700r + 160p / 20 pop = 59 st/pop
Battlewagon: 700r + 180p / 20 pop = 62st/pop
Swarmlord: 800r + 200p /21 pop = 66.7 st/pop
Carnifex: 600r + 150p / 18 pop = 58.3 st/pop
Avatar: 800r + 200p / 21 pop = 66.7 st/pop

I split the units up so as not to compare apples to oranges.

Consider the consequences of the current values:

Scounts + Sergeant = 12
Tacs + Sergeant = 20
Tacs + Sergeant = 20
ASM + Sergeant = 20
Dreadnought = 15
Total = 87
Can`t buy anything in T3 except Vanguard.

Dire Avengers + Warlock = 12
Dire Avengers + Warlock = 12
Banshees + Exarch = 18
Rangers = 6
Shuriken Weapon Platform = 9
Wraithlord = 12
Total=69
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 11:22 am

Atlas wrote:Anyway, as Oddnerd has indicated, population is just one way to adjust a unit's cost. On the purely economic front, don't forget squad cost, upkeep and reinforce costs! Also, the general fragility of a unit also becomes a factor. A Tac Marine may be 5 pop compared to a 2 pop Dire Avenger, but no one would really argue that the Tac should be 4 or 3 pop even if it is also a core unit in its respective roster. This is because of the general "strength" of the model ALONG with all of its other properties.


But I am really arguing that a Tac should be 4 pop.

The strength of a unit is the sum total of its properties. All properties which influence the outcome of a battle such as hit points, armour type, dps, speed and range contribute to strength and it is strength that should be proportional to population. Instances where units of the same category (infantry, set-up teams, walkers, tanks, super-units) have significantly different strengths but the same population value per model are indicative of imbalance imho.
Last edited by Antandron on Thu 11 Jan, 2018 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Reg9678 » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 1:27 pm

While I can't contribute something to the question at hand I have another question which belongs to a very similar topic. How is the upkeep of a modell calculated? Is it based on the pop value, the initial cost of the squad or is it a value artifically defined(so basically a value which can be changed on demand)? Some of the upkeep values seem unlogical to me: Why does a Scout have an upkeep of 7,65 per modell while CSM have 9,6. And Tacs, which are the same or maybe even slightly inferior to CSM have 12,75?
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Forestradio » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 4:26 pm

LEAVE POPULATION VALUES ALONE messing with them screws everything up we already had 5 patches of that with chaos preds being 15 pop and bloodletters being 12 pop and oh wait are you suddenly fielding extra t2/t3 units because you have the room and 0 upkeep?
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 5:39 pm

Forestradio wrote:LEAVE POPULATION VALUES ALONE messing with them screws everything up we already had 5 patches of that with chaos preds being 15 pop and bloodletters being 12 pop and oh wait are you suddenly fielding extra t2/t3 units because you have the room and 0 upkeep?


My method of comparing like with like would have rooted out such heresy before it could do any damage.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Atlas » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 6:52 pm

Reg9678 wrote:While I can't contribute something to the question at hand I have another question which belongs to a very similar topic. How is the upkeep of a modell calculated? Is it based on the pop value, the initial cost of the squad or is it a value artifically defined(so basically a value which can be changed on demand)? Some of the upkeep values seem unlogical to me: Why does a Scout have an upkeep of 7,65 per modell while CSM have 9,6. And Tacs, which are the same or maybe even slightly inferior to CSM have 12,75?


Total upkeep is taxed by the multiplication of a population value and upkeep rate. The standard upkeep rate for the game is 2.55. Which means that for every 1 pop a model or vehicle takes up, it would cost 2.55 requisition to "maintain" for most units as upkeep.

A Scout has 3 population, and 2.55 x 3 = 7.65. Likewise, a Tac is 5 pop and 5 x 2.55 = 12.75. CSM is an example of a non-standard upkeep rate and are charged at roughly 2 (which is something to look at actually).

The initial cost of the squad and the number of models within a squad are the factors that determine the reinforcement cost and are unrelated to upkeep cost. There is SOME artificial variance we can insert to reinforcement costs, but we can only bend the hard formula cost somewhat.
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Antandron
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 7:10 pm

Atlas, is it possible to add a population cost for upgrades? I am not asking if you would consider it but can it actually be done. That is almost the same question but not quite.

I have here an Excel spreadsheet with trillions of Codex stats to reinforce my argument for 4 pop Tacs and 3 pop Rangers if anyone would like to be persuaded.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Adila » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 9:31 pm

Let the upkeep alone, you will break even more stuff if you change stuff here.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Nurland » Thu 11 Jan, 2018 11:41 pm

If you/we decide to touch the population values, internal balance should always be taken into account as it affects upkeep and what you are able to field and timings etc.

I wouldn't really start doing a major population revamp.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Lolgar » Fri 12 Jan, 2018 3:24 pm

I feel that messing with population and upkeep values of races and units as a whole or especially individually will disrupt the balance of the game and will likely end up causing a lot of smaller problems and criticisms. Great post though, a good viewpoint and this is the sort of activity and questions that hep this community and the game.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Adeptus Noobus » Tue 16 Jan, 2018 8:40 am

According to this metric of strength you have developed, sub-commanders would be the most OP units in the game. This post did trigger me to create an Excel sheet with some data for each faction to measure their economic strength (i.e. avg. req/pop, upkeep/pop, etc). Once the table is complete with all the data, I will upload it here.

So far there are some interesting values coming up for Gayos...
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Tue 16 Jan, 2018 2:21 pm

Subcommanders are indeed an efficient use of population, except for the Zoan. They also have access to multiple upgrades which further increases their strength while their pop remains the same.

Here are my average strength per population values per unit type without upgrades:
Infantry excluding Terminators and Seer Council = 35
Terminators and Seer Council = 65
Subcommanders = 108
Walkers = 58
Transports and Light Vehicles = 50
Tanks and Superunits = 66

It would be very helpful to give upgrades their own population value but I do not know if it is possible.

And I have changed my mind to believe that 1 power is approximately 4 req instead of 3 req just because req income is approximately 4 x power income in a 1v1 game. I think that makes sense.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Adeptus Noobus » Tue 16 Jan, 2018 2:56 pm

My concept of "strength" is a function of the properties of the unit which effect the win rate of 1v1 VP control games vs a random opponent. Hence HP, armour type, dps, mobility, buffs and debuffs plus other stuff.

This doesn't hold true in various examples. Take for example the Tac (strength: 30) vs Guardsmen (strength: 35) situation: now everybody would rightfully assume that Tacs win this fight any day. The strength metric would have us believe that the opposite is true. Even more, once you add the Sergeant to the Guardsmen squad, the strength of the squad should go up since not only dps and survivability-wise but also economically this unit is now stronger. Guardsmen + Sergeant = +3 models = +3 pop for 85 req => 295 req / 9 pop = 32 strength. It's strength has actually decreased, which does not reflect its actual properties.
When I first started putting in the numbers into my Excel sheet I noticed that this metric does not reflect unit size properly and will never be able to. Why is that? Usually, the fewer models your squad has, the more hp every single model will have, so the metric holds somewhat true for low model count units as they are a lot easier to compare. As the model count increases, usually you see model hp drop but there are exemptions from this rule. Take for example the Nob Squad, Seer Council, Kommandoes. Some units don't even need their full squad count to have maximum efficiency still. Quite the contrary: some units are better left not fully reinforced as it decreases pop and upkeep (e.g. Rangers, Setup Teams, Shoota Boys).

Before I confuse people eve more...
TL;DR
It's not so easy to slap a number on a squad and say: this number reflects said units strength regardless of faction, unit type, etc.

P.S:
I like the idea though. What is actually starting to emerge from my numbers is that you can clearly see economical differences for each faction i.e. Eldar obviously being more dependent on power than e.g. Gayos or even Space Marines. Chaos pays less upkeep and req and power on average per pop compared to Space Marines as well giving them quite the economical advantage not only early on.
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Re: Population Values.

Postby Antandron » Tue 16 Jan, 2018 3:34 pm

I believe you have confused "strength" with "efficiency" or "strength per population".

Strength = req + 4 x power (not 3 x power as before)
Efficiency = Strength / Population

Cost:
Tacs = 450 / 0
Guardsmen = 210 / 0
Banshee = 350 / 0

Strength:
Tacs = 450 + 4 x 0
Guardsmen = 210 + 4 x 0
Banshees = 350 + 4 x 0

Population:
Tacs = 15
Guardsmen = 6
Banshees = 15

Efficiency:
Tacs = 450 / 15 = 30
Guardmen = 210 / 6 = 35
Banshees = 350 / 15 = 23.3

Good point about some units being near full strength despite model losses. This is really a result of the majority of the dps being contributed by only one model in the case of set up teams and rangers. To solve this, such units could be compared against one another, which is what I will do now.

Cost:
Rangers + Pathfinder Gear 210/20 + 75/20
Sniper Scouts 210/0 + 90/25
Devs 250/30
PDevs 400/0
IG Heavy Weapon Team 250/30
Shuriken Weapon Platform 240/30
D-Cannon 400/40
Havocs 250/30
Lootas 240/30

Strength:
Rangers 445
Sniper Scouts 400
Devs 370
PDevs 400
IG Heavy Weapon Team 370
Shuriken Weapon Platform 360
D-Cannon 560
Havocs 370
Lootas 360

Population:
Rangers 6
Sniper Scouts 9
Devs 12
PDevs 12
IG Heavy Weapon Team 12
Shuriken Weapon Platform 9
D-Cannon 12
Havocs 12
Lootas 12

Efficiency:
Rangers + Infiltration 445/6 = 74
Sniper Scouts 400/9 = 44
Devs 370/12 = 31
PDevs 400/12 = 33
IG Heavy Weapon Team 370/12 = 31
Shuriken Weapon Platform 360/9 = 40
D-Cannon 560/12 = 47
Havocs 370/12 = 31
Lootas 360/12 = 30

To add insult to injury, Scout Snipers have a reinforce cost of 6 power vs 3 power for Rangers.

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