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Review of All 12 Generals from a Balance Point of View, Best and Worst Ones, including Balance Suggestions
Caustizer
post 28 Feb 2012, 3:05
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The following is my own personal opinion though I believe it is quite accurate as it comes religiously playing Shockwave for the past few years. I have almost no online experience with this game, so everything here pertains strictly to Generals Challenge Mode.

I am aware that Shockwave is currently considered complete, and I am hoping this thread will bring to light some of the issues that remain before it can be considered completely done and inspire the design team.


The Best Generals in the Game:


1. General Townes

Townes is the best general in the game in my opinion because he has no dud units, amazing defense combined with good offense in both the land and air, and can be so easy at times he practically plays himself. Given all his benefits, Townes really has few weaknesses over the basic USA faction. His Laser Humvees (with Point Defense Battledrones), Laser Paladins, Railgun Artillery (absolutely brutal versus ground with Search and Destroy), Laser Commanches (brutal in groups), Laser Turrets & Fire bases, and Stealth Gunships (best defensive unit in the game imo) all combine to make him the best general.

2. General Leang

Leang is like China done American style, except better. She does have notable weaknesses over normal China such as Coal Power Plants (less power, so they take up more space), lack of Propaganda, and lack of Horde Bonus but her strengths are huge and more than make up for these minor drawbacks. Almost every unit in her arsenal is good in a certain way, from Ravage Tanks (Ravage Armour, Ramjet Shells) to Dragon Tanks (White Napalm & Firestorm Potential) to Sentinel Gatling Weapons (brutal versus air and surface at the same time) to her MiGs (White fire, starts with Boosters), to Blacksharks (absolutely brutal against anything ground), to Phoenix Bombers (the only air unit that beats AA groups convincingly), to Hammer Cannons, to Hellstorm Cannons (White Fire massacres attackers), to Grenadier Tank Hunters (defenses don’t matter). Leang is so good in so many areas she is borderline overpowered (starting with Chain Guns, Black Napalm, and MiG Boosters is a little too much imo) but not invincible. Number one Chinese general and only slightly inferior to Townes.

3. General Deathstrike

Realistically Granger or Tao could have been given this slot, but Deathstrike gets it because he offers the most radical improvement over the base faction at the cost of some of the GLA uniqueness (most of it required tons of micro anyway). Playing him comes at the cost of Bomb Trucks, Battle Buses, Hijackers, Saboteurs, and Angry Mobs but the gains are enormous. Hornet’s Nests (excellent anti-ground), Flash RPG Troopers (Rapid Fire Rockets can save you in many situations), Junk Repair base, Marauder Tank base, Basilisks (combined with Tunnels and Surprise Attack), Katyusha Rockets (unstoppable by defenses), Salvage 3rd level General Power (combined with Junk Armor and AP upgrades), Stealth Gadfly’s (makes Granger eat it) all combine to turn Deathstrike into the best GLA General in the game in my opinion. He also possesses something that the other GLA generals lack completely in his moderately effective air units (Desert Flies are kind of odd, but Rocket Hinds can be really good).

Middle Generals (no particular order):


1. General Granger

General Granger brings a very unique style to the game and his use of first strike oriented air units makes him really fun to play. What keeps him from the top spot over Townes is simply his ability to finish the game. Against Generals that repair very quickly and have potent AA (Leang and Thrax come to mind) you can bomb them all day and night and not make any progress, and this can turn to irritation as your land forces are mediocre and can rarely hold the line even with air support. Stealth Commanches, Advanced Patriots and Pathfinders are the key to making advances and keeping them, and in addition his abundant bomb-raining General Powers and Airborne Troops not subject to AA make this endeavor not only possible but fun. Granger has his weaknesses, but overall is a blast to play and is one of my personal favorites.

2. General Fai

General Fai has a place close to my heart because he has one important advantage that most generals don’t – his advantages kick in almost right away. An excellent rushing general, his ability to fill the field with elite infantry right away (3 Elite Red Guards per click is deadly to just about everything but the hardiest tanks) is valuable and fresh. You can use groups of Red Guards as meat shields, buffer zones, or simply march them over mine fields to clear them (such as in the Juhziz level). Propaganda and the Horde Bonus are big things for Fai, and since he starts with Nationalism he feels very responsive. Fai is also one of the few non-GLA generals that can produce an effective set of defenses without the need for any power at all (3 Barracks spamming out Guards and THs, Fortified Bunkers, and Mortar Pits can work out very good for you). Fai also has the unexpected bonus of a highly effective artillery unit – the Berserker MLRS. Getting these to support your infantry attacks is almost a must (your 1st general point should be Marksmanship, then the 2nd Berserkers). Fai also has many good design decisions across the board including his weak basic tanks having Propaganda Towers on them, Battle Fortress Overlords, Bunker Helix with Propaganda and Super Hacker/Hack Van benefits.

3. General Tao

General Tao is over the top Nuclear, which makes him also extraordinarily fun and effective. He is similar to Dr. Thrax in the sense that he is pretty much the same as the basic faction, but better. Tao’s arsenal is riddled with effective weapons and upgrades, and the side benefits he gets over basic China make him feel effective and cool. Starting with Nuke Cannons (amazing on the attack and defensive), Nuclear Battlemasters (which are fast as fuck with Fusion Reactors), Siege Cannons (SSNR shells are devastating and great when bombarded), Radiation Suits (yes please), Nuclear MiGs/MiG Bombers (powerful attacks especially versus groups), and the second tier of Nuclear Upgrades that don’t require a Nuclear Missile Silo (Fusion Reactors and Shells) really define Tao in addition to his Nuclear General Powers which amuse and delight. Everybody wishes they had a nuclear weapon to play around with at some point, and with this guy it sates that urge. Solid Middle General.

4. Dr. Thrax

As mentioned above, Dr. Thrax is very much like the basic GLA faction except better. Toxin everything is his game, which ultimately means you can spam his tanks until the cows come home and never have to worry about enemy infantry. Many of Thrax’s units have power for this reason… garrison clearing is a peace of cake and infantry for the most part don’t stand a chance against him. Combine this with deadly AA (Pythons are ridiculously good), surprisingly great Artillery (Scourges and Grenadiers are welcome bonuses), the ever popular Nerve Gas Bomb (the single Level 3 General Power that can ruin the Chinese economy), and Toxin Infantry Ambushes that are much more effective then the standard GLA ones and you have a decent middle general. I personally do not like Thrax very much, but that’s just because of my personal tastes. He has a slight and annoying weakness to armour that irks me at some moments, and unlike Fire and Nuclear his Toxins are almost completely ineffective versus buildings which are typically the most deadly threats on the battlefield in Generals Challenges.

5. General Alexander

General Alexander is one of those generals with lots of really neat toys that you generally don’t get to try because there are better ways of achieving said aim using her other better weapons. She has the really nice advantage of devastating and frequent bomb raining General Powers and almost limitless power for a similar cost to the basic USA. Naturally she does Superweapon spam very well (cheap and very space efficient Particle Cannons are nice) and has brilliant defenses that are equal to and in some places exceed even Townes in some respects (an EMP Patriot straight up wins versus and Overlord while a Laser Turret needs support or numbers), but her chief weakness is very similar to Grangers – she is a bad finisher. Her Drone Tanks and Shatterers are good anti-armour but they have weaknesses (low HP, veterancy for drones, and terrain issues for Sonic Waves). Her artillery units appear nice at first but are really less then stellar (Plasma Tomahawks are difficult to use versus concentrated AA and Lockdown MLRS have no accuracy, low damage, and sometimes strike terrain, Alpha Auroras have a completely different role then normal Aurora Bombers) meaning the majority of the workload in breaking air defenses falls to either Stealth Fighters (which aren’t bad for her) or her abundance of Superweapons and Bomb Raining General Powers. Overall though she is a neat General and fun to play if you want to punish your opponents but don’t feel like the micromanagement of Granger.

6. General Juhziz

General Juhziz is a surprisingly well designed General that I have recently discovered to actually be quite satisfying in General’s challenge. He has a few weaknesses over basic GLA which are quite apparent (no Hijackers, Camels are nerfed Toxin Tractors, his TSUs aren’t quite as good as normal Quad Cannons) but these were to accommodate the cool little benefits here and there he has. Terror Bikes are extremely effective Scalpel units that can be used to quickly takeout vulnerable enemy units and enforce your will on the battlefield in a satisfying manner (the fact their explosions don’t kill each other is great too). Juhziz also has greatly improved Bomb Trucks (Black Market Nukes are an excellent touch and hurt like hell), a super Scud Launcher (It’s really great to see at least one GLA General with a super artillery unit), the second best commando in the game (Demo Jarmen Kell is that much better then the normal one), a super Scud Storm (always want to make two of them in a diamond formation), really well done Demo Traps (quickly made and extremely potent) and the BRDM-1 (which is so good it completely defines his faction). Once I got the hang of building lots of units continuously as replacements, Juhziz proved to be an absolute blast (no pun intended) and a great general overall.

The Worst Generals in the Game:


1. General Ironside

I hate to rip on a brand new General, but every game that has good generals also has bad ones. Fortunately however Ironside is probably the least bad out of the three of them, so I’ll start with him. He has a collection of good weapons and benefits unique to the USA worth mentioning such as Sniper Burton (Anti-Material Round Upgrade makes him the best commando in the game hands down), Mammoth Tanks with no requirements but a General Point (drool), Howitzers (accurate, fast firing, and unstoppable), Tank Destroyers, and Missile Silos (fire and forget Superweapon, strange how all the new Generals have unique Superweapons). The most defining advantage that Ironside has though is that his Main Battle Tank the Wraith can be upgraded to have an anti-everything missile to complement its attack (a MBT attacking air? Extremely unique). All that being said, Ironside has some problems. For starters he loses a heck of a lot compared to basic USA in return for not a lot of serious gains on the ground such as having to build a Radar Dome independently of the CC (so no Spy Satellite till its up, plus it costs more then any other general), no Pathfinders (so bye bye long range infantry elimination and passive stealth detection), a Missile Defender that shoots air units (Javelins gain some additional range, but Blue Arrow Defenders are absolute garbage), a Humvee that your infantry can shoot out of (Bradleys are transports, but they have better combat effectiveness), good anti-missile defenses (Gladiators are a half-assed shadow of Avengers), and powerful airborne firepower like Commanches and Stealth Fighters. Despite all this Ironside isn’t all that bad, but he is definitely on the losing end of the USA generals which with the exception of him are all great.

2. General Kwai

General Kwai is like China’s red headed stepchild, that General that’s there but you always feel like you are being punished for playing him. In the spirit of fairness, let’s start with the good. Just about everything that comes out of the War Factory is useful, and barring a ton of upgrades both minor and major you can produce a pretty effective army just by spamming units. Emperor Overlords are still the final word in absolute annialation provided they can get to where you send them and Warmasters are excellent and well received medium tanks that few ground units can stand against well. Ramjet Turrets are surprisingly light on power and great versus everything on the ground that doesn’t out range them. Tank Factories provide you with a Refinery in your base, which makes building lots of vehicles that much easier. And now we get to the bad. As a whole Kwai’s army is extremely slow and lacks good artillery or air support. Advanced ECMs used to make up for this deficiency, but somewhere along the way from ZH to SW 1.0 they lost their massive range and ability to disable buildings and vehicles through obstacles such as structures and more importantly terrain. Kwai’s Razor Bombers are ridiculously expensive compared to normal MiGs (coming in as 1400 something with a Tank Factory) for being not a heck of a lot better apart from avoiding missile defenses. Combine this with the bad pathing tendencies in the Generals Engine and you get a slow moving juggernaut with poor air support, no artillery support that’s easy prey to enemy artillery units. Try facing Kwai Challenge #1 versus Dr. Thrax to see what I mean… once his Scourges show up your pretty much cooked unless you have you entrances covered with Neutron Mines (the saving grace of Kwai during some challenges).

3. Prince Kassad

And here we are… Prince Kassad. In my opinion this guy is the worst general in the game for the Generals Challenge, and for good reason. The way the challenges are scripted certain opponents simply ignore your stealth benefits and attack you anyway regardless of whether you have detection or not, but that is not the real reason why Kassad is bad. I’ll start with the good first: Kassad’s stealth benefits mean you can get away with doing some things such as hiding a Supply Stash, or using an unstealthed building to lure enemy planes into your stealthed AA. Kassad leans towards infantry, and he has some really good choices here. Rocket Snipers are exceptional and handy, with their ability to attack at long range and then run away to safety with ease. Hijackers being stealthed all the time are really good and can eat up columns of tanks without good anti infantry. Assassins are well received and a welcome addition to the army while Quad Snipers are definitely an improvement over standard ones in terms of range. Now that all the good is out of the way, here is the bad. The major problem with Kassad is that he has no power when it comes to dealing with enemy vehicles, and his base defenses are near worthless against them once they lose the cover of stealth. The rest of his army apart from those things mentioned above is pretty mediocre and without any sort of armored support will quickly lose any direct engagements. Assassins are great, but Jarmen Kell fills pretty much the same role with some added anti-vehicle/chopper/structure/ benefits. Anti-tank Guns are terrible and should at least be able to rotate to face targets (if slowly, it is annoyingly easy to circumvent them even when used on mass). On top of all the above, all his useful base defenses become useless when a bit of toxin or machinegun fire comes their way (you want a true challenge, try beating Thrax with Kassad on hard… it’s terrible)

Explaining the Big Balance Concerns:

Alright, so here are some intelligent suggestions that I think should be taken into consideration to bring the bottom 3 generals up to par with at least the middle ones.

1. Prince Kassad’s Issues and Solutions

- Hijackers should automatically hijack vehicles instead of being crushed (this fixes some odd situations where they were getting crushed instead of hijacking)
- Anti-Tank guns should be able to slowly rotate to engage attackers
- The ‘Rebel’ Ambush power should give 1 Saboteur per level (this gives the ability some greater impact for Kassad as well as making one of the harder to use units appear more frequently on the battlefield. A short cooldown on the Sabotage ability after spawn will give opponents a fair chance to detect them)
- New Unit: Salamander (Improved Chameleon Tank, essentially a Tank Hunter vehicle that is poor against structures)

2. General Kwai’s Issues and Solutions

- Advanced ECM Tank should be able to outrange base defenses and artillery platforms, and in addition be able to disable buildings/vehicles through intervening terrain and structures
- Razor Bombers should be about $200 cheaper, and start with MiG Armour upgrade (and possibly even have an additional level above that such as ‘Sealed Razor Armour’ or something like that that further increases armour to establish these units as good anti-artillery support)
- Reaper Tanks should have built in jammers (to protect against missiles, since they are already vulnerable to tank shells and bombs) or be faster in order to justify spending a General Point to build them. As it stands they are of questionable use when Warmasters are much better medium tanks and cheaper too.

3. General Ironside’s Issues and Solutions

- Fix the AI pathing problem with Ironside’s Dozers (they get stuck a lot and it really hurts when you tell them to build something and they get stuck)
- Adjust Blue Arrow Defenders so they deal damage by one big missile rather then a barrage of little ones and an almost impossible to micro ability (having powerful infantry based AA could be an advantage for Ironside)
- New Infantry Unit: Grenadier (medium range anti-infantry grenades that clear garrisons, perfect weapon for Ironside given that this is one of his key balance weaknesses)
- Increase the hit points of Black Widows and FB Bombers slightly (since they both fulfill a slightly different niche then the other USA generals they should not be made of paper to reflect that)

This post has been edited by Caustizer: 28 Feb 2012, 3:16
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Destiny
post 29 Feb 2012, 21:46
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1. Townes has no stealth gunships
2. Hinds don't exist in ShW, and the Hips suck anyway because they are paper.
3. All GLA units, including Deathstrike's, is paper. So the gains don't really matter because they all suck. Well, as GLA you aren't supposed to be hit in the first place. As Nem or someone who played multi told me, "If you're not in their base within 5 minutes as GLA, it's game over."
4. You are doing it wrong if you cannot finish the game with Alexander and Granger.
5. Gladiators kill aircraft. Avengers kill missiles and plink at aircraft with their missiles/lasers/plasma projectiles. Gladiators don't die. Avengers die when something sneezes on it.
6. Ironside's a ground-centric army. Use the YF-23s and F-16XLs because they can kill things. Ironside also happens to have the best air transport in the game.
7. If you cannot win with Kwai, or find him slow, you seriously need to play him properly. Build a goddamn Nuke, for Tao's sake. Razor bombers will kill artillery and Avengers if you do it right.
8. Don't diss Reaper tanks. They are EMP-resistant and do a lot of stuff for just a single measly tank.
9. Have you ever used a Stryker and her CS gas? Ironside is called Armor General for a reason. Let his ARMOR soak up all the enemy attacks while the overspecialized units do their jobs, like killing tanks or clearing the garrison with your Stryker, AND repair your tank while she's at it.
10. Use your YF-23s and F-16XLs properly.

This post has been edited by Destiny: 29 Feb 2012, 22:05


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Shockwavelover84
post 1 Mar 2012, 3:38
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QUOTE (Destiny @ 29 Feb 2012, 22:46) *
1. Townes has no stealth gunships

The Laser Stealth Fighter is a stealthed gunship.

And regarding Gladiators, Avengers do much more damage to Aircraft than Gladiators do. Gladiators do the least damage of any AA vehicle in the game, but they do have the best armor.

QUOTE (Destiny @ 29 Feb 2012, 22:46) *
3. All GLA units, including Deathstrike's, is paper. So the gains don't really matter because they all suck. Well, as GLA you aren't supposed to be hit in the first place. As Nem or someone who played multi told me, "If you're not in their base within 5 minutes as GLA, it's game over."


Well when playing the AI, I win the quickest with Deathstrike (or possibly any GLA general except for Prince Kassad - since he has no Maurader). Build several Mauraders (or even Scarabs if playing as Deathstrike) and just destroy attacking units until they're at Tier 3 Salvage. Once you have several at Tier 3 Salvage/Veterancy then you've basically got the offensive equivalent of a group of Overlords and can pretty much steamroll anything in your path.

This post has been edited by Shockwavelover84: 1 Mar 2012, 4:25
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Shockwavelover84
post 1 Mar 2012, 4:03
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QUOTE (Caustizer @ 28 Feb 2012, 4:05) *
Assassins are great, but Jarmen Kell fills pretty much the same role with some added anti-vehicle/chopper/structure/ benefits.

But you can only build 1 Jarmen Kell at a time, and he costs about double what an assassin does. Put some RPG troopers in a Battle Bus along with 1-2 Assassins and you've got a universal anti-ground/air/infantry vehicle.

As far as the Kassad vs Thrax challenge goes - I haven't beaten it yet but I made some good progress awhile back. The best strategy early on is to micromanage your Cobra Tanks by having them outrun while firing at Thrax's vehicles (be sure to upgrade them with the Stinger Rocket and collect the salvage piles). If you micromanage them you can "hit and run" on Thrax's slower vehicles without having to fire a shot.''

EDIT: Regarding Kwai, he's a much simpler playing style than regular China, mainly thanks to him having the Ramjet turret instead of the bunker as an anti-ground base defense. This essentially means you won't even have to bother using infantry at all with Kwai unless you really want to (since Bullfrogs can take the place of Red Guards for capturing buildings).

From what I had heard, Advanced ECM tanks are supposed to out-range base defense. They also provide good protection from Missile-based artillery. If they can't outrange all base defenses then this is could be a problem. My strategy then would be to send a group of 2 or more to target a base defense - since even if 1 gets damaged or destroyed, the base defense will be down on power by that time. Plus they're still cheaper and faster than any actual artillery unit.

Alternatively use the Artillery Barrage, Nuclear Missle, etc to destroy large clusters of base defenses.

---

EDIT: Okay I tested Kwai's adv. ECM tank, and no it can't outrage base defenses. Though usually it can survive a single defense - if not, then use 2 or more against each base defense.

Kwai's biggest pain is therefore General Alexander due to her EMP base defenses. Use at least 2 ECM tanks (or another decoy unit) on each of these, and spread them apart so that the EMP doesn't disable both vehicles.

This post has been edited by Shockwavelover84: 2 Mar 2012, 22:20
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Casojin
post 1 Mar 2012, 4:34
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@Caustizer
Each General is suitable for different style of playing. I prefer fast-moving small unit tactic (would be best if that group has long range or stealth or powerful attack). So, slow moving force (Laser/Armor/Tank) doesn't go well with me.

Some people said that Laser is very powerful but I don't quite like him (he relies a lot of slow moving tanks). Though he has some options in the air but we can't gain ground using only air units.

Leang is quite powerful but her AA is limiting (which is also her weakness). I really like her artillery choices.

Deathstrike is pretty much almost like China. Playing him is like playing a mix between China and GLA. His hidden long range AA is a good thing as I can use them to cover my fast-moving artillery from air attack.

Granger is also my favorite too. I like fast flying stuffs.

Fai is quite defensive general in my mindset. He can gain ground early with elite troops but in the long run, his tactic is quite limited.

Tao is like firepower guy to me. He has powerful weapons while sacrificing armor (his tanks are as weak as GLA). His RAD tank rush is really powerful if you use it properly.

Thrax is the faction I tried to avoid using if possible. His damage over time is good but it's just not fast enough to kill my enemy.

Alexander is another of my favorite. Playing Hit & Run with her is fun. And her defensive stuffs could keep me safe or slow down my enemy long enough while I play my favorite Hit & Run.

Juzhiz is GLA that explodes. Playing him is interesting. His artillery choices (both slow-moving firepower or fast-moving) are good in my opinion. He has lots of flexibility.

Ironside focus is powerful ground forces. His stuffs are slow but tough enough to withstand punishment that would kill others. His reliance on specialized units sometimes becomes problem but it could be overcome if you build strong eco for him early on.

Kwai is a faction I dislike but playable. His strong reliance on slow-moving force busted my play style completely. Although his tanks are very powerful, it's just not my style.

Kassad is a faction that I like to play for fun with human but not with AI. He fits my style and I like ambushing human or luring them into a trap. My friend got a big headache playing vs me as Kassad.


As for balance concern....you should try multiplayer.
- Kassad Cobra tank did good AT damage if you surprise attack your enemy and run.
- Saboteur ambush is kinda....OP.
- Advanced ECM is already out-range def (not artillery though but it's good enough).
- Kwai aircraft should be expensive because his tank is already very good.
- Reaper is very powerful already. It's even EMP resistant. It's very useful vs horde infantry and light vehicles while your tank could not offer continuous killing barrage. Oh, I forget to mention that Reaper can run over tanks like Overlord.
- Armor Gen dozer bug is kinda annoying.
- Blue Arrow is good considering his cost (200). His ability is better vs heli but less so vs jets.
- You must've missed the Stryker description (just like I do when I first play Ironside).
- Armor Gen aircraft is already super-armored (don't compare with Granger though). You should see how weak other jets are.


QUOTE (Destiny @ 1 Mar 2012, 3:46) *
1. Townes has no stealth gunships
2. Hinds don't exist in ShW, and the Hips suck anyway because they are paper.

1. I think he meant Stealth Fighter (which is pretty much like Gunship in ShW 1.1)
2. Hip is quite tough comparing to other heli (almost as tough as Helix and faster than those flying tanks) and Hip is not suck if you at the right moment


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Overdose
post 1 Mar 2012, 17:32
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General Kwai is my favorite general but I agree he is the butt monkey of the game.

He's the 'Tank General' yet the other sides have tanks arguably just as good as his. His non tank units that brought flexibility and originality to his game like the Cargo Helix, Razor Bomber and Advanced ECM Tank were nerfed. A lot of people considered Kwai overpowered in the past but if you can't counter a simple tank rush you are just playing the wrong game.

When there's a lot of nastier rushes in the game, especially the kind that can escape at the first sign of danger.

All in all, Gens is the first game of C&C's history that is biased against tanks. Tanks can't fire properly on the run (which is supposed to be a major feature of all tanks), the tanks are way too sluggish, non AT stuff can kill them too quickly. There's no much of a difference between each kind of tank (Soviet Heavy and Mammoth VS Allied Medium and Light) for instance.

The Reaper is such a sub par unit, the only thing they are very good at is destroying bikes. Technically I preffer to bring a Warmaster along instead, I can micro the napalm rocket launch very well. With black napalm you only need 1 rocket to finish off infantry, you can save the second for another group. That's 2 insta kill anti-infantry rockets per Warmaster.

The Warmaster is the shining jewel of Kwai's arsenal because its the only unit he has that is GOOD. Even the Emperor has lost muchof it's glamour when they nerfed it self repair and hit points. I miss bulldozing through the guy's base with my Emperor rush.


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Caustizer
post 1 Mar 2012, 22:18
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QUOTE (Overdose @ 1 Mar 2012, 11:32) *
General Kwai is my favorite general but I agree he is the butt monkey of the game.

He's the 'Tank General' yet the other sides have tanks arguably just as good as his. His non tank units that brought flexibility and originality to his game like the Cargo Helix, Razor Bomber and Advanced ECM Tank were nerfed. A lot of people considered Kwai overpowered in the past but if you can't counter a simple tank rush you are just playing the wrong game.

When there's a lot of nastier rushes in the game, especially the kind that can escape at the first sign of danger.


I have no experience playing multiplayer on the original Generals or Shockwave (find it a bit too involved and stressful) but I can see if there were some problems with Kwai being too good in the past why his tanks are sickeningly slow now. One of my first thoughts on playing him was that his units felt very unresponsive until they had fusion reactors, and this in turn made them vulnerable to a lot of things.

QUOTE
All in all, Gens is the first game of C&C's history that is biased against tanks. Tanks can't fire properly on the run (which is supposed to be a major feature of all tanks), the tanks are way too sluggish, non AT stuff can kill them too quickly. There's no much of a difference between each kind of tank (Soviet Heavy and Mammoth VS Allied Medium and Light) for instance.

The Reaper is such a sub par unit, the only thing they are very good at is destroying bikes. Technically I preffer to bring a Warmaster along instead, I can micro the napalm rocket launch very well. With black napalm you only need 1 rocket to finish off infantry, you can save the second for another group. That's 2 insta kill anti-infantry rockets per Warmaster.

The Warmaster is the shining jewel of Kwai's arsenal because its the only unit he has that is GOOD. Even the Emperor has lost muchof it's glamour when they nerfed it self repair and hit points. I miss bulldozing through the guy's base with my Emperor rush.


I agree with you on all these points. Generals does seem to have a distinct bias against tanks via its engine and in general the way the game works.
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Skoony
post 2 Mar 2012, 8:52
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I really enjoyed reading this! I also have no idea what it's like to play online, I never got it to work, and I hate the Juhziz level, so fucking hard.

I don't know if I agree with you, but you make some really good points. I didn't know Kwai was the worst though, I generally thought he was the best. Not that I think that, but that he wins matches or something. And yeah, the artillery support hurts.

Anyway... good. smile.gif
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Shockfan42
post 5 Mar 2012, 22:05
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In my opinion, and yes i played vs CPU and player humans:
Townes: Very good, is a complete general, all your weakness are in artillery, but if your think attack with missiles your are die (PDL). Laser Paladines with the blue upgrade eat througth buildings and other tanks how sandwichs. Turrets and stealth gunships = dead zone.
Leang: No is my prefer, good movementes, but artillery stuff no is my game. Defeses are the best in all Chinese arsenal, but in the game fall vs spam choppers, really one efective AA (gattling), and its fall with tanks. Is good, but some times is a bit slow moving the artillery support vs a fast human player.
Deathstrike: OK, the best tanks of all GLA arsenal, good artillery, ¡air support!, plus repair. The one GLA Genearl with a tanks in pair whit the best chinese and Usa counterpart. If your capture a crates upgrades gun8.gif It no need more changes in my opinion.
Granger Bombers in the way, but mass AA say: down. Really is more efective use tanks, but if your airports are in good site, and far away of enemy powers, are the best supports , in special if look the tanks of its general. If only your airports can resist best the enemy powers and infantry rushes before the 5 first minutes.
Fai: A bit numerousus. The "hordes" can counterspam all tipe of spam. A dude mine is fan of Fai, and my results vs it is variable. Whith generals whit great infantry killers fall fast, but, with others (yes Jhuziz and USAs, yours Ainfantry whit efect is bad) is a continued charge and charge and crumble bases. If think with a infantry is better what a tank and more cheap, if survive a the explosion of the transports, but need a downgrade, it can be a time of construccion slow.
Tao: Nuke tecnology, and efective. In my opinion, is no change, is the general with minor numbers of blames of "overpowereaded".
Dr. Thrax: The good Dr. If can choice a GLA, it is the best GLA general in my opinion. No more changes. Toxins killed slow, but killed. In a battle of attrition or vs a player with infantry heroic, it is a complete nightmare.
Alexander: My favorite general of all shockwave. Not is the overkiller of Zero Hour, but is really fun play with. The enemy need see your base if some Enforcer attack, the defenses are solid, and Shatterers can attack in water and earth. Efective EMP in the infantry. And the best is defense, if you can down a overlord full, and a tank rush at same time. Think no more changes, this general can crush in a much style, and is a general of seas, and yes is my style too.
Jhuziz: No is the best, but not is the worst. Maraurders with multimissiles crush througt the defenses, more explosive, decent AA, it all punch. But in the same moment in the front of defenses, the bomb is for you. The worst in atrittion wars, for a suicide blast, only light damage to enemy. The artillery need more points of defense in the missile, vs grups of gattling not is effective. And groups of infantry and detectors, your never can use the bombs= money wasted.
Ironside: A USA of the old school, and good. In a battle tank, armor can crush tank, plus it really have a artillery effective. Really the only bad is overspecializaded defenses, but with a tank of level (Wraith) is aminor issue. In it general are some bugs, is a contra. of all your potential.
Kwai: Really some have that say: not have effective counter-artillery, and the range of ECM not is good vs much defenses. The changes for it general that Caustizer post can help positivelly for a more balanced game. Reapers are goods, but i prefer the Warmaster, need something more for the point of exp.
Prince Kassad: Need some with punch vs tank. Fundamentalist not are the Angry Mod, the Missiles died fast, and the anti tank, is a work in micromanagement, very bad in a force of guerrilla where all is fast and sthealt. My idea, return the angry mod for Kassad, what a good general of stealth can play around with a visible unit, and make uncrushable the Hijackers, if play with Kassad, the more serius problem can be detectors how in Zero Hours.
Ok, is late for suggestions in the game. But if this changes better the balances, is good for all the players that support your fantastic mod.


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Shockwavelover84
post 5 Mar 2012, 22:22
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QUOTE (Casojin @ 1 Mar 2012, 5:34) *
- Reaper is very powerful already. It's even EMP resistant.

If it's meant to be EMP resistant then I haven't seen this at work - 1 shot from General Alexander's EMP Patriot will still disable a Reaper. This means Kwai has almost nothing that can counter her, save artillery barrages and nukes - I tested out the Adv. ECM tank and it can't outrange her EMP patriots.

QUOTE (Shockfan42 @ 5 Mar 2012, 23:05) *
Alexander: My favorite general of all shockwave. Not is the overkiller of Zero Hour, but is really fun play with. The enemy need see your base if some Enforcer attack, the defenses are solid, and Shatterers can attack in water and earth. Efective

I like Alexander too - she has some of the coolest units by far, though I'll admit she's one of the most frustrating to play with, because basically all she has going for her is defense. Shatterers and Enforcers are very expensive, and though they have great punch, they have paper thin armor. For example, one of General Leang's Ravage tanks can destroy or nearly destroy an Enforcer in head-to-head combat, even though the Enforcer costs almost double. So the only real winning strategy with Alexander is to play defense and use Super Weapons and Generals powers to bombard the enemy. General Leang is probably her worst opponent due to her Hammer cannons.

This post has been edited by Shockwavelover84: 5 Mar 2012, 22:29
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Casojin
post 6 Mar 2012, 7:27
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QUOTE (Shockwavelover84 @ 6 Mar 2012, 4:22) *
If it's meant to be EMP resistant then I haven't seen this at work - 1 shot from General Alexander's EMP Patriot will still disable a Reaper. This means Kwai has almost nothing that can counter her, save artillery barrages and nukes - I tested out the Adv. ECM tank and it can't outrange her EMP patriots.

It is EMP resistance but not immune. One EMP missile (or a salvo) won't disable it. I've seen this so many times (AI likes to use Reaper to attack EMP pat).

This post has been edited by Casojin: 6 Mar 2012, 7:27


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Destiny
post 6 Mar 2012, 11:52
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QUOTE (Casojin @ 6 Mar 2012, 14:27) *
It is EMP resistance but not immune. One EMP missile (or a salvo) won't disable it. I've seen this so many times (AI likes to use Reaper to attack EMP pat).

I can back Casojin up on this one. After all I was the one who sat 7 hours behind my wall of defenses against the AI's onslaught with all faction's CCs...


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Shockfan42
post 6 Mar 2012, 21:37
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QUOTE
So the only real winning strategy with Alexander is to play defense and use Super Weapons and Generals powers to bombard the enemy. General Leang is probably her worst opponent due to her Hammer cannons.

Really, if only think in defense and powers too win, too can died. Better is hid and run , and the defeses are for capture terrain for counterattack. Hammer tanks have good attack, but nothing to damage of Aurora Alphas.


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Nikon
post 27 Apr 2012, 9:30
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I just have to say something here...in as much as I have not played against the AI all that much but against real people ( I have friends that play LAN games with me on Game Ranger) I have a bit of a different perspective. We all play random and play who we are dealt, I drew Armour General on the map Desert Quadrant and I lost a group of 10 tanks to a squad of Fundamentalists. Damndest thing I ever saw...I even had three vulcans in the mix..but I lost them all nonetheless, the point I am trying to make is that there is a counter for every unit in the game.

Sometimes it may surprise you what will counter what.. I am not going to go into a list of counters here but they are there. I used to not want to play Armour General because I thought he was too slow building..but after playing him awhile I cant wait to draw him in a match. His combination of units is lethal and can lay waste to a base in no time flat. Makes my friends mad when I draw Armour. Cuz they know whats coming and there aint naught they can do about it.

My Favorite Generals are Armour, Nuke, China Special Weapons, and Tank in that order.

I really dont like any of the GLA factions cuz they are weak and only good in numbers....which takes alot of resources. Besides they spread like roaches on a map which is frustrating to try and contain.

The least favorite General is Granger...NONE of his ground units are worth the money it takes to build them and if you dont cripple your opponent inside ten minutes with your aircraft..there isnt much hope for you the rest of the match.

Of course all of this depends on the map..available resources and the man at the helm..but all in all Shockwave 1.1 is one of the greatest mods I have ever played. And I have played alot of them.

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Commander-GDI
post 27 Apr 2012, 23:56
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I also play shockwave with friends a lot on LAN.

You can't say witch general is the best, because it depends against witch general you are playing! (e.g. Nuke is good against USA, beacause their shots can be killed by lasers)

imo Salvage is realy strong, because their gattlig tanks are just a bit overpowered (especially in early game). Unlike regular gattlings they are also good against buildings and most defences.

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post 28 Apr 2012, 3:20
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Wait, what? Salvage has Gattling Tanks?
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Commander-GDI
post 28 Apr 2012, 12:48
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QUOTE (Generalcamo @ 28 Apr 2012, 4:20) *
Wait, what? Salvage has Gattling Tanks?


the Quad Tank of course laugh.gif
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TheSpudd
post 28 Apr 2012, 23:16
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Soooooo an Earth Shaker can take out a superweapon with one shot. (if you're lucky, sometimes you have to back it up with a support power.) Gen Leang's Blackshark's are the most seriously nasty choppers in game. (Except maybe the Combat Chinook outfitted with sniper teams and rocket squads is about on par.) Her artillery is the most menacing in game. Her Stingray's are EMP resistant and fire their Ramjet missiles out of defensive range. Her Migs with white Napalm rock! Her defences are blinkin amazing. (When combined with the Blackshark). Meh. I like Special Weapons Gen. Mind you I don't play Generals online so dont know how good she is against the pros. mellow.gif
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GeneralCamo
post 29 Apr 2012, 1:07
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She is pretty good. Of course, relying on air units doesn't help, once the human gets used to you, he will adjust.
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Casojin
post 29 Apr 2012, 17:01
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QUOTE (TheSpudd @ 29 Apr 2012, 5:16) *
Soooooo an Earth Shaker can take out a superweapon with one shot. (if you're lucky, sometimes you have to back it up with a support power.) Gen Leang's Blackshark's are the most seriously nasty choppers in game. (Except maybe the Combat Chinook outfitted with sniper teams and rocket squads is about on par.) Her artillery is the most menacing in game. Her Stingray's are EMP resistant and fire their Ramjet missiles out of defensive range. Her Migs with white Napalm rock! Her defences are blinkin amazing. (When combined with the Blackshark). Meh. I like Special Weapons Gen. Mind you I don't play Generals online so dont know how good she is against the pros. mellow.gif

Leang slow economy and reliance on hi-tier stuffs are her weakness.


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Guest_Vintorez_*
post 12 Nov 2012, 21:49
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QUOTE (Caustizer @ 27 Feb 2012, 20:05) *
Explaining the Big Balance Concerns:

Alright, so here are some intelligent suggestions that I think should be taken into consideration to bring the bottom 3 generals up to par with at least the middle ones.

1. Prince Kassad’s Issues and Solutions

- Hijackers should automatically hijack vehicles instead of being crushed (this fixes some odd situations where they were getting crushed instead of hijacking)
- Anti-Tank guns should be able to slowly rotate to engage attackers
- The ‘Rebel’ Ambush power should give 1 Saboteur per level (this gives the ability some greater impact for Kassad as well as making one of the harder to use units appear more frequently on the battlefield. A short cooldown on the Sabotage ability after spawn will give opponents a fair chance to detect them)
- New Unit: Salamander (Improved Chameleon Tank, essentially a Tank Hunter vehicle that is poor against structures)

I agree with those ideas, particularly giving him a tank destroyer - however I believe the Anti-Tank gun's problem is unable to fix due to the in-game code.

QUOTE
2. General Kwai’s Issues and Solutions

- Advanced ECM Tank should be able to outrange base defenses and artillery platforms, and in addition be able to disable buildings/vehicles through intervening terrain and structures
- Razor Bombers should be about $200 cheaper, and start with MiG Armour upgrade (and possibly even have an additional level above that such as ‘Sealed Razor Armour’ or something like that that further increases armour to establish these units as good anti-artillery support)
- Reaper Tanks should have built in jammers (to protect against missiles, since they are already vulnerable to tank shells and bombs) or be faster in order to justify spending a General Point to build them. As it stands they are of questionable use when Warmasters are much better medium tanks and cheaper too.

The Adv. ECM tank used to be able to out-range base defenses, but I believe this actually made them overpowered, because they could completely disable them in a matter of seconds - much faster than it'd take to actually destroy them with artillery. For example, if the opponent has 3 Patriots, you could just use 1 ECM tank per defense and take them offline - then send your tank force on up to smash them - the only way to get the base defenses back online was to destroy the ECM tanks, but they'd have to get through Kwai's advancing tank blob to do it. Against GLA opponents with no air units, this would make him virtually unstoppable.

A better idea would be to give Kwai a lighter artillery unit, or just give him the Inferno cannon only (and raise the cost considerably). I agree that it feels unfinished to just leave him with no artillery at all (even a weaker one) - reminds me of how in vanilla ZH, the Air Force general for example had no tanks at all - in Shockwave he was given a lighter tank rather than just left with no tanks - Kwai should likewise be given a light artillery.

As for the Reaper, it's already very fast so I wouldn't change the speed. If anything I'd give its guns instant spin-up (like Nuke General's gattling cannons) rather than have them slowly spin up to full firepower.

QUOTE
3. General Ironside’s Issues and Solutions

- Fix the AI pathing problem with Ironside’s Dozers (they get stuck a lot and it really hurts when you tell them to build something and they get stuck)
- Adjust Blue Arrow Defenders so they deal damage by one big missile rather then a barrage of little ones and an almost impossible to micro ability (having powerful infantry based AA could be an advantage for Ironside)
- New Infantry Unit: Grenadier (medium range anti-infantry grenades that clear garrisons, perfect weapon for Ironside given that this is one of his key balance weaknesses)
- Increase the hit points of Black Widows and FB Bombers slightly (since they both fulfill a slightly different niche then the other USA generals they should not be made of paper to reflect that)

I never thought of Ironside as particularly lacking. Though regarding the blue arrows, I'd have the "multi missile" ability be an alternate fire mode (like with Burton's 2 fire modes), rather than a move you have to manually select and target. That'd improve its effectiveness. Blue arrows are definitely underrated though - especially in urban maps with lots of buildings to garrison and repair, they're very cost-efficient (versus building and re-building AA base-defenses).
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Anubis
post 12 Nov 2012, 22:29
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For fuck sake there's a reason why you have forum rulez. And there's a common rule on almost every frekin forum on the planet - DON'T (as in DO NOT) resurrect an old topic. Isn't anyone reading frekin rules this days ...
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Guest_Vintorez_*
post 12 Nov 2012, 23:32
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QUOTE (Anubis @ 12 Nov 2012, 15:29) *
For fuck sake there's a reason why you have forum rulez. And there's a common rule on almost every frekin forum on the planet - DON'T (as in DO NOT) resurrect an old topic. Isn't anyone reading frekin rules this days ...

According to Mars it's acceptable to revive an old topic if you're adding new content to the discussion. If you're just making a post like "that's cool" or "I agree", then it wouldn't be acceptable to revive it if the topic's 20 days old or more.

No need to be snappy.

This post has been edited by Vintorez: 12 Nov 2012, 23:37
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GeneralCamo
post 13 Nov 2012, 0:05
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Well, the entire forum here is dead, so I think it would be acceptable in this case. Besides, I was looking for ideas to make a nice patch for shockwave to fix the blasted bugs. Maybe a few balance things can go in too.
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Guest_Vintorez_*
post 18 Nov 2012, 0:16
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Just a quick idea I came up with to make the Reaper more useful and solve Kwai's artillery problem. The Reaper would have an per-unit upgrade, which gives it a gattling artillery cannon (similar in look to the AGAS in ROTR, but smaller), however it would replace its default gattling cannons. The Reaper artillery would fire slightly faster than an inferno cannon, but do modest damage per shot, and have no napalm or secondary effects. This would give Kwai a very provisional artillery option and give the Reaper more use in the game.

Just a thought.
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